A political outsider who ran on 1 issue: Fighting corruption, wins by a 2:1 margin,
Jimmy Morales Wins Guatemalan Presidential Election in Landslide. Former TV comedian is political outsider who now must meet his promise to tackle country’s rampant corruption
With 92% of ballots counted, Mr. Morales had 70% of the vote, compared with 30% for his rival, former first lady Sandra Torres. If the trend holds, it would be the largest margin of victory in a presidential vote here since democracy was restored in 1985 after a military dictatorship.
“I have been given a mandate, a mandate to clean up corruption that has eaten at this country,” Mr. Morales said in a TV message.
The president, vice-president, the head of the central bank, leaders of several political parties, and the head of the social-security institute, all are investigated brought down by myriad corruption charges:
Polls show corruption is the main concern in Guatemala, above insecurity and unemployment. Guatemala ranks 115 out of 175 countries in the corruption perceptions index of International Transparency—one of the worst positions in the region.
Some businessmen calculate around 30% of the country’s meager annual government spending, $9.1 billion this year, is squandered through corruption.
Here is his acceptance speech (in Spanish),
He will serve one 4-year term. The challenges he’ll face are enormous.