Jimmy Morales - Guatemala

Jimmy Morales won Guatemala's October 25 presidential runoff. (Photo: Jimmy Morales)


Guatemala Update: Jimmy Morales Wins Presidency by a Landslide

By Carin Zissis

The ex-comedian and political outsider beat a former first lady by 35 points in the October 25 runoff, but he'll face a divided Congress.

In Guatemala, the polls didn’t lie: ex-comedian Jimmy Morales beat former First Lady Sandra Torres by a whopping 34.8 points in the October 25 runoff election. With all the votes counted, Morales held 67.4 percent compared to 32.6 percent for his rival. 

The fact that voters handed such an enormous victory to a candidate with almost no political experience demonstrated their discontent with the status quo. It’s little wonder in a country that one month ago saw President Otto Pérez Molina step down over a corruption scandal and where the former vice president and central bank head also sit behind bars for graft.  Morales’ campaign saw an opportunity there and he ran—and garnered a surprise win during the first round on September 6—under the slogan “neither corrupt, nor a thief.” 

In a brief victory message last night, Morales said that voters had given him a mandate “to fight against the corruption that has eaten away at us.”