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News > Guatemala

Guatemala: Candidates Wrap Up Campaigns Ahead of Runoff Vote

  • Campaign rally of Sandra Torres, presidential candidate for the National Unity of Hope (UNE).

    Campaign rally of Sandra Torres, presidential candidate for the National Unity of Hope (UNE). | Photo: Reuters

Published 5 August 2019

Guatemalan presidential elections’ will take place on Sunday 11, with center-left Sandra Torres leading the race.

Guatemalan presidential candidates center-left Sandra Torres from the National Unity of Hope Party will close her campaign on Aug.9, while -wing Vamos party, Alejandro Giammattei, held a closure event on Sunday as they ready themselves for runoff elections to be held on Aug. 11.


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"I am here to ask for your support and to thank you for the votes you gave me in the first round," Torres said during a speech in the city of Totonicapan, north-west of the country.

Torres, the former first lady who divorced her husband to be able to run for president in 2011, is running for the third time. She said that her program will benefit the Campesinos, the elderly, and the children. 

"I want to be the first woman president, I want to work for you," said the center-left candidate who also criticized the outgoing president Jimmy Morales’ administration and called him “an incapable.” 

“Guatemalans should not waste their votes on another candidate who doesn't know the needs of the people," she added, pledging to create jobs during her four years in office. 

The candidate further promised to respect the people’s decisions regarding mining and criticized her opponent’s position on the matter.

"If you don't want mining, we will say no to mining, we will respect what you ask for,” she said adding that while she rejects the industry, “the other candidate has already planned to engage with mining projects." 

In the country's first round, Torres got 25.27 percent of the vote, followed by conservative Alejandro Giammattei with 14.08 percent of the vote.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal starts the process of packing ballots and supplies for the second round of elections that will take place next Sunday, August 11.

For his part, Giammattei presented Sunday the main priorities of his future government, yet, he did not give any detail about how he will carry them out.

"We will attend to the serious social problems of the country, we will work hand in hand with the farmers, and we will duplicate the exports of the non-traditional products," said the right-wing candidate who runs for the fourth time.

He pledged the creation of one million jobs and the implementation of the express train in Guatemala.

The Vamos party candidate added that he will promote an educational reform to improve the quality of education in schools and that in order to eradicate malnutrition, he will implement breakfast and school lunch in pre-primary and primary levels.

Another of Giammattei's proposals will consist of taking control of the prisons, where he intends to put the inmates to work. "They are going to work for us," said the candidate who has also vowed to reinstate the death penalty.

Giammattei finally indicated that his administration will target crime, and that gang members will be treated as terrorists. "We are going to attack crime like as it has never been done before," he said.

At the end of his campaign, Giammattei criticized his rival, Torres pointing to her as the best way to return to the past and to old politics. 

The presidential elections’ second round will take place on Sunday 11 of August, with Torres leading the race according to the polls.

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