Guatemalans choose new president after a tumultuous electoral season

June 25, 2023  -GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemalans voted Sunday to elect a new president and vice president as well as fill all congressional seats and hundreds of local posts after one of the most tumultuous electoral seasons in the Central American nation’s recent history.

Many Guatemalans expressed disappointment with their presidential choices after three opposition candidates were excluded by authorities. A large number of null ballots were expected, and experts said it could depress turnout.

With none of the 22 presidential candidates polling near the required 50% threshold for winning outright, a second round of voting on Aug. 20 between the top two finishers was almost certain.

At the Mixed Urban School No. 2, a combined elementary and middle school in Sumpango, voters began lining up outside its muralled wall an hour before voting was scheduled to begin. The town of about 37,000 sits in the mountains less than an hour west of the capital. Voting appeared orderly.

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