Guatemala public votes for new president amid fraud scandal

Guatemalans head to polling stations to elect new president after former president imprisoned on corruption charges

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Sep 7, 2015

Guatemalan citizens lined up at the election polls in view of the presidential elections on Sunday following the imprisonment of the former president over corruption charges.

The polls opened at  7:00 am (1300 GMT) where citizens were called to vote for a new president, vice president, a new Congress as well as 388 mayors and regional parliament.

The election protests was expected to be stormy with anti-corruption protests after former president Otto Pérez Molina was charged and jailed for corruption. Instead, people rushed to cast ballots forming long lines.

Perez was accused of being involved in a  customs scheme which costed his immunity.

The former president resigned on Wednesday and was arrested the following day, after large protests took place in the country, asking for his resignation. The protests resulted in one death and 26 arrests in Santa Barbara city.

As a result of the tensed situation, some local people threaten to harm people who would come to vote from other areas. To prevent this, 35,000 police officers were hired to oversee the election area.

The popular candidate to win the election is comedian Jimmy Morales, who according to polls is “winning” by  25 percent  over his opponents Manuel Baldizon and Sandra Torres.


TRTWorld and agencies