Is Guatemala Done With Traditional Politicians?

Several of us tackle the following questions for today’s Inter-American Dialogue’s Latin American Advisor.

Comedian Jimmy Morales emerged as the top vote getter in the first round of Guatemala’s presidential election Sept. 6 and is to face either former First Lady Sandra Torres or businessman Manuel Baldizón in an Oct. 25 runoff. The election happened just days after President Otto Pérez Molina resigned amid a corruption scandal, though he has asserted his innocence in court. How good are Morales’ chances of riding the wave of voter discontent with establishment politicians all the way to the presidency? Would he or any of the other leading candidates bring a significant change to how Guatemala’s government is run? What are the first issues the country’s next president should tackle?

Click here for some comments from @salva_paiz, @risaclaire, me and others.

I am not optimistic that positive change is going to come voluntarily from the next president or congress. The Guatemalan people, MP’s office, CICIG and international community will need to keep up the pressure.