Zury Ríos and Sandra Torres lead the polls for the Guatemalan elections. Both have tried to emulate Nayib Bukele’s speech and it seems that it is serving them.
On June 25, the Guatemalan elections will be held to elect the new president. Within the candidates, a Bukelist discourse is replicated that could be victorious. Nayib Bukele is a political phenomenon that already seems to surpass his own Salvador. His populist proposals have penetrated into many other countries and this has caused his speech or his hard government plan against crime to expand (bukelismo). There are examples in several nations, but the most recent or particular is what is currently happening in Guatemala.
Guatemalans will go to the polls on June 25. Some elections that will elect the replacement of Alejandro Giammattei from the Vamos party. Among the contenders there are several familiar faces.
The bukelite candidates
Within the deck of people who have made clear their admiration for the Salvadoran president are several of the favorites. The main candidate is Zury Ríos Ríos, who in addition to being the leader of Valor, is also the daughter of the dictator Efraín Ríos Montt. Ríos Ríos has traveled to El Salvador and admired and learned from the politics of Nayib Bukele. The leader of Valor is the main candidate with a 25.5% vote intention .
But not only the main candidate has found her source of inspiration in Bukele. The second on the list, UNE’s Sandra Torres, has also shown her intention to implement her gang policy in Guatemala. Torres, who is the candidate of the largest party in the country, with the largest number of mayors and second in the last elections, today, ironically, is a piece of the ruling party, according to several analysts.
The former first lady of former Social Democratic president Álvaro Colom was imprisoned for alleged irregular electoral financing . Despite this, she was released, regained control of her party and today she is the second candidate with 21.5% of Guatemalans’ preference.
Similarities and differences
Despite the fact that both Ríos and Torres are leading the polls today, Bukelo’s policies may not be the most appropriate for Guatemala. The country, despite also experiencing a criminal situation typical of the region, cannot be bought with what has been experienced in Salvador. The gangs that controlled Bukele’s country, today in Guatemala, do not seem to have the same power.
Perhaps the most obvious problem in the Chapín country is the corruption scandals. Not only the current president Alejandro Giammattei; or his predecessor Jimmy Morales; or one before like Otto Pérez Molina have been accused of serious acts of corruption. Both Ríos and Torres today do not have that character of independents or “outsiders” that President Bukele did have or that can make the Guatemalan trust, after several parties peppered with crimes. Despite this panorama, the third candidate in preference, Edmond Mulet, does not finish standing out as he is unable to capture the intention to vote and today he only stands at 16.8%.
If the polls are not wrong, Ríos and Torres will go to the second round, and in this they will have to seduce both Mulet’s voters and those of the other candidates. The vote seems fragmented and this means that any support in the second round is decisive. In May, 22 candidates registered, so both the leader of UNE and Valor (or Mulet de Cabal himself) must point to the largest number of alliances for the second round scheduled for August 20. Even a wink from Salvador, from President Bukele, may unbalance the balance in Guatemala.