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Guatemala election bound for run-off

Monday, September 07, 2015 - 01:33

Guatemala's presidential election heads into a run-off vote, extending political uncertainty as the country reels from a graft scandal that toppled the president. Gavino Garay reports.

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Sunday's presidential election in Guatemala was too close to call and has forced a run-off after the three leading candidates split the vote nearly evenly. Comedian Jimmy Morales dominated support at polling stations, wielding nearly 25 percent of the votes... but less than the 50 percent needed for an outright victory. But over 5 percent of the votes had yet to come in, meaning it was too close to say just who will have a showdown against Morales. Conservative businessman Manuel Baldizon with 19.41 percent support was neck and neck against former first lady Sandra Torres with 19.09 percent. Whoever comes in second place once the rest of the votes are counted will head to the run-off against Moralres on October 25. In the capital, Guatemala City, some were in favor of frontrunner Morales, despite his weak political resume. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OSCAR URIEL SANTOS, GUATEMALAN VOTER, SAYING: "He has been a professional. Perhaps he could apply his professionalism to politics because he won't be alone: he will have counselors, helpers and many people who will give him their opinions and will teach him things which he could apply to a good administration." (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) JUAN TORRES, GUATEMALAN VOTER, SAYING: "That is where you can see Guatemalans' opinions, at the polls. Good for him and for the people who support him, the votes are in his favor. I think he's the best option." Guatemala has been dogged by a political scandal that's enveloped even Otto Perez, who resigned as president on Thursday and spent election day in jail while a judge considered corruption charges against him.

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Guatemala election bound for run-off

Monday, September 07, 2015 - 01:33