Guatemala's Future at Stake

Next June 16, Guatemalans will have to elect the new government that will assume in January 2020, which will have the challenge of implementing the policies needed to respond immediately to the most urgent demand of the population: the employment generation.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The country's electoral process has been surrounded by uncertainty, since four of the presidential candidates were decided in the courts. Zury Ríos and Thelma Aldana, candidates to occupy the first magistracy, who from the beginning headed the voting intentions, faced multiple legal difficulties that prevented them from participating.

See "Drastic Change in the Electoral Scenario

Mauricio Radford and Edwin Escobar are other presidential candidates who were also disqualified from the elections because they had pending legal processes they failed to solve in time.

After the disqualification of four of the candidates, the latest estimates place Sandra Torres at the top of the voting intention with 22.6%, followed by Alejandro Giammattei with 11.6%, Roberto Arzú with 9.2%, Edmond Mulet with 6.4% and Thelma Cabrera with 5.5%. See presentation of the results of the Freedom and Development Foundation survey.

The winning political project will receive a country with an economy that has stagnated in recent years, since in the case of economic growth, it has averaged around 3%, without showing signs of substantial change. In the case of Foreign Direct Investment, a 12% decrease was reported in the last two years, going from $1,170 million in 2017 to $1,032 million in 2018.

In this context, the elected authorities will have to direct efforts in order to create conditions for the government to reactivate the economy and thus increase employment levels.

In this regard, David Casasola, analyst at the Center for National Economic Research (Cien), explained to that "... More than plans for economic reactivation, which is what is being proposed, what is needed is a productive transformation to cover the employment deficit of three million people."

Casasola added that "... the country needs to develop activities that generate intense labor, such as light manufacturing, labor flexibility, focus on strategic productive activities, improve logistics, simplify the payment of taxes and dealings with the public sector, as well as strengthen cross-cutting issues."

Juan Carlos Zapata, executive director of the Foundation for Development (Fundesa), believes that "... in most of the government plans they have studied there is agreement on specific issues, such as the need to improve infrastructure, especially roads, increase flows of foreign direct investment and jobs."

See articles from "These are the employment and infrastructure proposals of the 5 presidents with the greatest intention of voting" and "'Stagnated' | This is how Jimmy Morales delivers the Guatemalan economy to the next government."

More on this topic

Giammattei, New President of Guatemala

August 2019

Alejandro Giammattei will assume the presidency of the country on January 14, 2020 with the challenge of implementing policies aimed at providing greater legal certainty to investments and reactivating the economy.

According to the most recent results of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Alejandro Giammattei won the second round of elections by a wide margin, concentrating 57.9% of the votes, a proportion higher than the 42.1% captured by Sandra Torres, candidate of the Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (National Unity of Hope). See full results.

Torres and Giammattei in Second Round

June 2019

After the presidential candidates Sandra Torres and Alejandro Giammattei obtained 26% and 14% of the votes, respectively, they will have to go to a second electoral round on August 11 to define who will be the next president of the country.

The last report of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, which was updated at 3 p.m.

Drastic Change in the Electoral Scenario

May 2019

One month before the presidential elections in Guatemala, the Constitutional Court decided to remove from the election Zury Ríos and Thelma Aldana, two of the candidates with the highest voting intentions among the population.

The country's electoral process has been turbulent, since Zury Ríos and Thelma Aldana, presidential candidates who from the beginning headed the voting intentions for the 2019 General Elections, had multiple difficulties.

Elections and Economic Uncertainty

March 2019

On March 18, the political campaign for the General Elections in Guatemala officially began, but the legal inconveniences faced by some candidates cause doubts for the future.

Zury Ríos, Thelma Aldana and Sandra Torres are the three presidential candidates leading the voting intentions for the 2019 General Elections, but both Ríos and Aldana have had legal problems in their registration process, and Torres, already a registered candidate, was accused of illegal electoral financing. These cases have caught the public's attention and prevented them from knowing the concrete economic proposals.

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