Sandra Torres and Bernardo Arévalo will contest the mandate in the second round of elections in Guatemala. A race between the novice, the politics of tradition and an atmosphere of discontent.
Despite all the forecasts, the favorites in the polls did not necessarily end up going to the second round in the elections in Guatemala. The two candidates chosen by the Guatemalans were Sandra Torres and Bernardo Arévalo , an old acquaintance of Chapín politics and an electoral surprise who collected the votes of dissatisfaction.
Torres obtained 15.78% of the votes and Arévalo 11.80%. Both must compete again on August 20 in the second round. Left out were Armando Castillo from the VIVA party (7.27%), Edmond Mulet from the Cabal party (6.72%) and Zury Ríos from Valor-Unionista (6.56%).
Is the third time will be the charm?
Sandra Torres, wife of former President Álvaro Colom, went back to the second round. Already in 2015 and 2019, the former first lady reached these instances, in which she lost against Jimmy Morales and Alejandro Giammattei. In his first candidacy he surprised with 19.76% (967,242) votes in the first round and 34.52% (1,261,607) in the second, for which he fell against Morales. 4 years later, he got 25.53% (1,122,909) in the first round, beating Giammattei, but then he only got 42.05% (1,382,112) in the second round.
Now he will seek again (against Arévalo de Semilla) the presidency. However, Torres had a decrease of about 22% of his votes in 4 years , which demonstrates the clear discontent of Guatemalans. They see Torres, another figure of traditional politics and this could play a trick on him again.
Torres tries to change the perspective and change the “antivoto” that she has against “Give me the benefit (of the doubt), remember that you gave your vote to three men presidents who have governed in the last twelve years and they have let you down,” said the candidate.
The big surprise of the day and possible favorite in second
The polls gave Zury Ríos and Sandra Torres as favorites, even Edmond Mulet entered the favorites to overcome the first round. It was assumed that among 2 of these 3 candidates, there were those who would compete on August 20 in the second round. However, they did not have Bernardo Arévalo.
The man who takes the flags of the center-left and with a party that was born in 2015 in the midst of anti-corruption protests in the country.
His move to the second round is read as a punishment for traditional politics and the current system represented by Alejandro Giammattei and several of the other candidates . For example, Zury Ríos was the daughter of the dictator Efraín Ríos Montt, who ruled between 1982 and 1983, after overthrowing Romeo Lucas García.
The real winner
Despite the fact that Torres and Arévalo will be the ones who will decide who will succeed Alejandro Giammattei, the real winner was the discontent and distrust of the Guatemalans. In the elections, the null vote obtained 17.3% of the support. This was a clear demonstration of the mistrust there is towards the institutions that have led scandal after scandal.
This shows that whoever wins, must first work on the legitimacy that a president elected in the second round can have, in which the invalid vote drew nearly 100,000 more votes than Torres and 300,000 more than Arévalo. Additionally, of the almost 5.5 million voters (60% of the census), more than 1.2 million crossed out void or voted blank.