Comedian Jimmy Morales elected president of Guatemala in landslide victory
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Comedian Jimmy Morales elected president of Guatemala in landslide victory

A TV comic has won the vote to be elected president of Guatemala.

Running vote-counts from the Supreme Electoral Tribunal showed Morales in a leading position throughout Sunday evening with about 70 percent of the votes to former first lady Sandra Torres’ 30 percent.

Morales’ victory comes a month-and-a-half after then-President Otto Perez Molina resigned and was jailed in connection with a customs graft scandal.

“We recognise Jimmy Morales’ triumph and we wish him success,” Torres said. “Guatemala has serious problems, but the people made their choice and we respect it.”

Landslide victory

In a short televised broadcast, Morales, 46, declared victory on Sunday night. “With this vote you made me president,” he said. “I have received a mandate, and the mandate of the people of Guatemala is to fight against the corruption that has consumed us.”

Under the slogan “Not corrupt, nor a thief,” Morales used his image as a political outsider, removed from the previous establishment.

Morales will face public anger at corruption that helped unseat the last government and immediate demands for reform.

“He (Morales) has to act responsibly, with honesty and provide brilliant results,” Jorge Briz, head of Guatemalan business lobby, Cacif commented. “We Guatemalans have no more patience because we have been tricked. We want results.”

Polling stations were closed early across the country to avoid violent incidents.

In one municipality, a group of people killed the recently elected mayor in the municipality, Concepcion. The mayor had been accused of provoking an attack on a political rival in which two teenage girls were killed.

See also:

Why you should care about Guatemala’s corruption scandal

The future of Guatemalan politics