Guatemala holds elections to elect president and vice president for the period 2024-2028

Guatemalans go to the polls to vote.

Photo: ORLANDO ESTRADA/AFP/Getty Images

Voting centers in Guatemala opened this Sunday to hold general elections in the Central American country where the president and vice president will be defined for the period 2024-2028, in addition to other authorities.

The initial flag for the civic day took place at 7:00 local time (13:00 GMT), according to the regulations of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal (TSE), and will last until 18:00 local time (00:00 GMT on Monday).

There are 9.3 million people authorized by the TSE to cast their vote in the eleventh edition of the elections since the implantation of democracy in 1986.

The experts, however, do not rule out a high percentage of abstentionism from the vote by the registered population, due to apathy for the political class.

In the 2019 elections, abstentionism was 39% and four years earlier, in 2015, it amounted to 29%.

The main focus of attention is on the presidency, which according to polls three traditional political candidates are competing in the Central American country.

In total there are 3,482 voting centers installed throughout the territory, mostly in public schools, with 24,427 tables for the reception of the vote in the 22 departments (provinces) of the nation presided over by Alejandro Giammattei.

Each voter is given five different colored ballot papers at the polling station so that they can secretly mark their vote for president and vice president; Municipal Hall; national deputies; deputies by region and legislators to the Central American Parliament.

fight of three candidates

The survey by the firm ProDatos, which was circulated in the local newspaper Prensa Libre days before the elections, detailed that former first lady Sandra Torres (2008-2012) of the National Unity of Hope (UNE) will easily access a second round since it has 21.3% of the intention to vote.

Torres is competing for the presidency for the third consecutive time and in the previous two (2015 and 2019) he lost in the second round.

While the former United Nations diplomat Edmond Mulet (13.4%) and the conservative candidate Zury Ríos Sosa (9.1%), daughter of the coup dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, are in second and third place for voting intentions, respectively, according to the same fountain.

Another 19 presidential candidates also compete this Sunday. Among them are the opposition politician Manuel Villacorta of the Will, Opportunity and Solidarity (VOS) party, the pro-government deputy Manuel Conde of the Vamos government party, and the social democrat Bernardo Arévalo, son of former president Juan José Arévalo Bermejo (1945-1951).

Both local analysts and international organizations have insisted that the electoral process has been irregular for various reasons, but mainly due to the arbitrary exclusion of three candidates: the indigenous leader Thelma Cabrera, the son of former president Álvaro Arzú Irigoyen (1996-2000), Roberto Arzú García-Granados, and businessman Carlos Pineda, leader of the polls.

Under that context, a dozen international electoral observation missions They have come to Guatemala this Sunday to supervise the elections, including the delegations of the European Union (EU) and the Organization of American States (OAS).

With information from Efe.

Keep reading:
· Why in Guatemala no party has repeated the presidency in its almost 40 years of democracy
· The “Bukele effect”: how the “iron hand” policy in El Salvador influences the elections in Guatemala
· Who is José Rubén Zamora, the renowned journalist sentenced to 6 years in prison in Guatemala after a controversial trial

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