(CNN Spanish) — Social Democratic candidate Sandra Torres and leftist Bernardo Arévalo will contest the presidency of Guatemala in the second round. No candidate got more than 50% of the votes needed to win in the first round.
One of these two candidates will succeed the current president Alejandro Giammattei.
Who is Sandra Torres?
Sandra Torres, wife of the late former president Álvaro Colom, was the first lady of Guatemala from 2008 to 2011 and ran for president in 2015 and 2019.
Torres, a candidate for the National Unity Party, has promised in her campaign to eliminate the VAT on basic products in the basket. A salary bonus at Easter and bring down the cost of electricity.
Who is Bernardo Arevalo?
Deputy Bernardo Arévalo is a career diplomat and son of former President Juan José Arévalo. Arévalo was born when his parents were in exile and trained abroad. Returning to Guatemala in 2013, he served as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Ambassador to Spain.
Arévalo’s move to the second round, scheduled for August 20, came as a surprise to many. His party, the Seed movement, was the day’s second-most voted party.
Arévalo has promised to create the National Anti-Corruption System, fight crime with investments in public security institutions and build a new prison for those convicted of serious crimes.
The challenges of the new president
Analysts such as former Guatemalan foreign minister Edgar Gutiérrez believe that the current government is marked by the persecution of the press and the closure of civil and political spaces and liberties.
For Gutiérrez, the most urgent challenge for whoever wins the presidency will be to “rebuild the institutions that have been undermined after four years of government. A call for a national dialogue that has been absent in recent years. A national dialogue that brings together the forces of life of the nation to recover above all basic services, job opportunities, which is the Achilles heel of our economy”.