GUATEMALA CITY — Guatemalans on Sunday elected Alejandro Giammattei as their next president. When he takes office Jan. 14, he will inherit a nation plagued by years of political scandal, where a recent surge in migration has laid bare the monumenta l challenges ahead.
Giammattei, the right-wing Vamos party candidate who is a former prisons director, beat out former first lady Sandra Torres for the next four-year term. The presidential runoff election came at a crucial moment — as Guatemala prepares for the possible implementation of a “safe third country” agreement with the United States, a plan touted by the Trump administration but with potentially grave consequences for a country whose own citizens are fleeing in droves.
Guatemala is the leading country of origin of migrants and asylum seekers apprehended at the U.S. southern border.
The 2019 Guatemala Presidential Elections is an uphill battle for former First Lady, Sandra Torres. Torres who is running under the National Unity of Hope (UNE) Party generated 33.4% of the votes cast during the first round of the presidential elections last June 16, 2019 but only climbed 7.56% based on the pre-runoff polls conducted by the CID Gallup for Fundación Libertad y Desarrollo.
The pre-runoff polls was conducted last July 9-14 with a sample size of 1,204 and a ± 2.8% margin of error.
On August 11, 2019, the voters of Guatemala will cast again their votes to the second round of the 2019
presidential elections. The second round of elections, also called as runoff
elections, are usually held when the leading candidate fails to generate at
least 50% of the votes cast. Only the top two candidates will be eligible in
the runoff elections who, in this year’s election, are former first lady Sandra
Torres of the National Unity of Hope (Spanish: Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza,
UNE), and Alejandro Guammattei of the “Let’s Go” Party (Spanish: Vamos Por Una
Guatemala Diferente, VAMOS).
The first round of voting was held last June 16 with Torres
garnering 25.73% of the votes cast while Giammattei got 13.89%. They competed
with 17 other presidential candidates. The rest of the presidential candidates and
the votes received is as follows: