Friday, May 24, 2024

Arevalo wins Guatemala presidency in landslide amid hopes for change

(Al Jazeera Media Network) Anti-corruption crusader Bernardo Arevalo has scored a landslide victory in Guatemala’s presidential election, after voters angry at successive leaders’ failure to tackle widespread corruption made a decisive choice for change.

With 98 percent of ballots counted, Arevalo had 58 percent of votes, with his rival Sandra Torres trailing on 36 percent, according to a count by the TSE national election body.

Blanca Alfaro, the judge who heads the TSE, said Arevalo of the centre-left Semilla (Seed) Movement, was the “virtual winner” and called for an immediate national dialogue to help bridge the country’s deep political divides.

President Alejandro Giammattei congratulated Arevalo in a tweet on X, formerly known as Twitter, and invited him to begin an orderly transition the day after the results are certified.

“Long live Guatemala!” Arevalo wrote on X.

The 64-year-old ex-diplomat and son of a former president takes power amid violence and food insecurity that have triggered new waves of migration. Guatemalans now represent the largest number of Central Americans seeking to enter the United States.

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