Conservative Alejandro Giammattei was elected Guatemala’s new president in a second-round vote last Sunday. With minimum support in Congress and low voter turn, his presidency seems to offer more politics as usual, leaving much-needed reform out of the near future to solve Guatemala’s most pressing issues.
New evidence has surfaced that former and sitting presidents, Porfirio Lobo and Juan Orlando Hernández may have benefitted from drug trafficking. Their eventual extradition to the U.S. seems like a real possibility. But is the country’s opposition ready to take over?
Corruption and an unpopular president have paved the way for a crowded field of mostly unknown presidential hopefuls. After the country’s Constitutional Court ruled against two top contenders, the election shifted from a relatively safe bet to an uncertain race.
Panama’s presidential election quickly shifted from a safe bet to a close race. Nito Cortizo will hold the office for the next five years, but because of the narrow results his presidency is off to a weak start.
Nayib Bukele, a former FMLN member now running as a third-party candidate, is expected to win the first round on February 3rd. The question now is whether or not he will amass sufficient support to avoid a runoff on March 10th.