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No joke: Guatemalan comedian wins presidency in landslide

GUATEMALA CITY Jimmy Morales, a former TV comedian who has never hold office, swept to energy in Guatemala’s presidential choosing on Sunday after milking open annoy over a crime liaison that deepened dread of a country’s domestic establishment.

The 46-year-old Morales overwhelmingly kick center-left opposition and former initial lady Sandra Torres in a run-off opinion notwithstanding his miss of supervision knowledge and some process ideas that strike many as eccentric.

The domicile of Morales’ center-right National Convergence Front (FCN) jubilee erupted in jubilee as central earnings showed he had around 68 percent support in a landslide victory.

Voters forked to widespread displeasure with Guatemala’s domestic class, compounded by a U.N.-backed review into a multi-million dollar etiquette pole that led final month to a abdication and detain of former boss Otto Perez.

“As boss we perceived a mandate, and a charge of a people of Guatemala is to quarrel opposite a crime that is immoderate us,” Morales pronounced on Sunday night.

The U.S. supervision has strongly upheld a U.N.-backed investigators and their success has helped pull opposite crime in Central America, where mercantile hardship and squad assault spurred an exodus of migrants to a United States.

However, a anti-graft passion has also led to a choosing of an different apportion in Guatemala. It is misleading how Morales will tackle squad assault or try to branch a upsurge of U.S.-bound migrants.

Morales was already a domicile name following a 14-year army on a renouned TV comedy and a self-proclaimed centrist from a common credentials wooed electorate with promises to tackle crime and palm out millions of smartphones to children.

“We were sleepy of a same faces of people who get abounding off a money,” pronounced Eduardo Tablas, a upkeep male who voted for Morales. “He knows that if he does something corrupt, all of Guatemala will be perfectionist that he resign.”

Last year, Morales quit his TV show, that centered on skits and licentious jokes, to run for a presidency. Back in April, he hardly purebred in opinion polls though he shortly surged as both Perez’s supervision and a claimant who was afterwards heading a presidential competition became mired in crime probes.


Morales serve targeted voter disappointment with Guatemala’s unwell institutions by pledging to tab teachers with GPS inclination to safeguard they attend class.

He has also floated a thought of reviving a ancestral land brawl with adjacent Belize.

Such skeleton unprotected Morales to gibe from critics, and he also had to downplay ties between his FCN and a army, that was blamed for atrocities in Guatemala’s 1960-1996 polite war.

Morales’ opposition Torres warned electorate that a nation indispensable experience, not a maverick. “Guatemala is not a comedy,” she pronounced during a campaign.

The choosing is a wake-up call to a bankrupt Central American country’s determined parties, that have been jarred by investigations led by a Commission opposite Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), a U.N.-backed anti-corruption body.

The CICIG’s examine defeated Perez and has stirred calls for identical bodies elsewhere in Central America.

Morales, a former divinity tyro with socially regressive leanings, has applauded CICIG’s work and vowed to extend a remit. But now he will now face a exam of only how honest he can make a supervision underneath a watch of a CICIG.

Morales pronounced late on Sunday that he would not mount in a approach of any probes of his possess government. “Neither a boss nor a clamp boss would be exempt,” he said.

Still, he has given small fact on his skeleton to overcome confirmed crime besides earnest to put some-more income into justice, make supervision spending pure and review institutions.

Morales’ declaration was only 6 pages long, giving few clues as to how he competence govern, and his FCN jubilee will have only 11 out of 158 seats in a subsequent Congress.

He will now face a exam of only how honest he can make a supervision underneath a watch of a CICIG.

(With stating by Sofia Menchu in Guatemala City and Dave Graham in Mexico City; Writing by Michael O’Boyle; Editing by Christian Plumb and Kieran Murray)

Article source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/10/26/us-guatemala-election-idUSKCN0SJ04G20151026

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