Guatemalan general election, 2011
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politics and government of
Elections were held on 11 September 2011 in Guatemala for the offices of President and Vice President; as well as members of Congress by national list and districts, members to the Central American Parliament, and the Mayor and council for all the Municipalities. All positions were elected for a four-year period. Retired General Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party won the presidential election in a runoff against populist Manuel Baldizón of the LIDER party.
The presidential election is being contested by retired General Otto Pérez Molina who lost in the run-off to President Álvaro Colom in 2007. Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity and other leftist groups have joined together in the Frente Amplio and nominated Rigoberta Menchú for president.
Polls show Pérez Molina with a lead over other possible candidates.
- Otto Pérez Molina
- Manuel Baldizón
- Rigoberta Menchú
- Harold Caballeros
- Eduardo Suger
- Juan Guillermo Gutiérrez
- Mario Estrada
- Patricia de Arzú
- Adela de Torrebiarte
- Alejandro Giammattei
A poll for the second round showed Pérez Molina with 49.4% to Baldizón's 39.2%; 11% were undecided. A second poll gave Pérez Molina 39.7% to Baldizón's 32.2%, with 28% undecided. A third poll gave Pérez Molina the lead with 45.7% to Baldizón's 37.2% and 17.1% undecided. A final poll had Pérez Molina ahead with 54.6%, Baldizón at 38.7% and undecided at 5.7%.
On 11 September, the parliamentary election took place. Of 158 congressmen to be elected, 126 congressmen sought re-election but only 56 were re-elected and 102 new congressmen were elected for the first time since democratic election took root in Guatemala. About 65% of MPs were first time representatives, which was the first time this occurred since the 1995 election.
Guatemala's high crime rate was a major issue in the campaign as it sits near the Mexican border that is a conduit for drug traffiking.
Baldizon campaigned on the premise of having Guatemala's football team to the World Cup. Additionally he also promised to tackle poverty and crime, as well as assure workers an extra month's salary every year. He also said he would reinstate the death penalty and televise executions.
According to Article 186(c) of the Constitution, the relatives of the President cannot participate in the Presidential election when the relative holds the Presidency. Sandra Torres, former wife of the current president, got divorced to run for the presidency. There were several requests to have a warrant to forbid Sandra Torres from participating in the election. On 9 August 2011, the Constitutional Court upheld a sentence of the Supreme Court preventing Torres from running.
Former Foreign Minister Edgar Gutierrez said that "the polling methods are inadequate. They've failed to capture how between 25 and 30 per cent of the people intend to vote."
Preliminary vote counting suggested that Molina has the highest count of the votes, having 37% support with more than 80% of the votes counted. Therefore, it is highly likely that none of the presidential candidates will obtain an absolute majority of votes in this election (50% + 1 vote), therefore prompting a run-off election (second round) on 6 November 2011.
On 6 November, Molina declared victory in the election saying that: "For all the Guatemalans who have put their trust in me, I thank you very much. To those Guatemalans who did not vote for Otto Perez, I make a call to unite and to work together in the next four years, leaving aside party colours." Turnout for the runoff was half that of the first round in some regions.
|Candidates — Parties||1st round||2nd round|
|Otto Pérez Molina — Patriotic Party (PP)||1,611,493||36.01%||2,300,979||53.74%|
|Manuel Baldizón — Renewed Democratic Liberty (LIDER)||1,038,287||23.20%||1,981,003||46.26%|
|Eduardo Suger — Commitment, Renovation and Order (CREO)||732,842||16.38%|
|Mario Estrada — Nationalist Change Union (UCN)||383,643||8.57%|
|Harold Caballeros — Vision with Values (VIVA) & Encounter for Guatemala (EG)||275,475||6.16%|
|Rigoberta Menchú — Broad Left Front— Winaq,
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG-MAIZ) & New Nation Alternative (ANN)
|Juan Gutiérrez — National Advancement Party (PAN)||123,648||2.76%|
|Patricia de Arzú — Unionist Party (PU)||97,381||2.18%|
|Alejandro Giammattei — Social Action Centre (CASA)||46,395||1.04%|
|Adela Camacho de Torrebiarte — Action of National Development (ADN)||19,038||0.43%|
|Total votes (voter turnout: 69.38% / 60.83%)||5,093,230||4,465,118|
|Source: Tribunal Supremo Electoral
|Parties and alliances||Votes||%||+/–||Seats||+/–|
|Patriotic Party (Partido Patriota, PP)||1,171,337||26.62%||+10.71||56||+26|
|National Unity of Hope (Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza, UNE)
Grand National Alliance (Gran Alianza Nacional, GANA)
|Nationalist Change Union (Union del Cambio Nacionalista, UCN)||417,935||9.50%||+5.44||14||+10|
|Renewed Democratic Liberty (Libertad Democrática Renovada, LIDER)||390,319||8.87%||+8.87||14||+14|
|Commitment, Renewal and Order (Compromiso, Renovación y Orden, CREO)||381,652||8.67%||+8.67||12||+12|
|Vision with Values (Visión con Valores, VIVA)
Encounter for Guatemala (Encuentro por Guatemala, EG)
Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity — Broad Left Movement
(Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca — Movimiento Amplio de Izquierda, URNG–MAIZ)
Alternative New Nation (Alternativa Nueva Nación, ANN)
|National Advancement Party (Partido de Avanzada Nacional, PAN)||137,390||3.12%||–1.46||2||–2|
|Guatemalan Republican Front (Frente Republicano Guatemalteco, FRG)||120,455||2.74%||–7.06||1||–14|
|Unionist Party (Partido Unionista, PU)||118,788||2.70%||–3.40||1||–7|
|Social Action Centre (Centro de Acción Social, CASA)||47,390||1.08%||–3.81||–||–5|
|National Development Action (Acción de Desarrollo Nacional, ADN)||39,251||0.89%||+0.89||–||±0|
|National Convergence Front (Frente de Convergencia Nacional, FCN)||23,272||0.53%||+0.53||–||±0|
|Total votes (turnout 69.34%)||5,090,030|
|Source: Supreme Electoral Tribunal of Guatemala (TSE) and El Periodico
1 2007: as two separate parties.
2 2007: UNE – 48 seats; GANA – 37 seats.
3 2007: only Encounter for Guatemala.
4 2007: URNG-MAIZ and ANN as two separate parties.
5 2007: only URNG-MAIZ.
- Tribunal Supremo Electoral (27-09-2011) Acuerdo No. 1319-2011 - Resultados oficiales. Consulted: 2011-09-29.
- Tribunal Supremo Electoral. (01/12/2011) Segunda Elección Presidencial. Resultados preliminares. Consulted: 2011-12-01
- Tribunal Supremo Electoral (Spanish)
- Elecciones Generales 2011 (Spanish)
- Resultados Elecciones Generales y al Parlamento Centroamericano 2011 (Spanish)