2019 Guatemala Presidency
Alex McHaddad 8/8/19
Elections in Guatemala
Every four years, Guatemla holds elections for President, Congress, city councils, and the Central American Parliament (more on that later). The election is held in two parts - seats in Congress, city councils, and CAP are elected in June. That same day, the first round of voting for President occurs, with over a dozen parties submitting candidates. If no candidate wins more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates compete in a runoff in August.
Based on social media and vote returns below, I predict that First Lady Sandra Torres will be elected President on August 11.
Two candidates without prior elected experience finished at the top of the first round of Presidential voting. Former national Director of Penitentiary Services Alejandro Giammattei of the internationally non-aligned Vamos will face off against former First Lady Sandra Torres of UNE, a member of the Socialist International. First Lady Torres is the only candidate who received more than 1 million votes during the First Round, while Director Giammattei received just more than half of his opponent's total. Director Giammattei is also less popular on social media than First Lady Torres.
Vamos and UNE already faced off for legislative seats in June, and their performance will likely predict the outcome of the Presidential vote. UNE received more than twice as many votes for Congress as Vamos, and more than 400,000 more votes for CAP seats. However, no party won more than 1 million votes in this election. UNE's popularity over Vamos is also clear on social media - Vamos has around 10% of the Twitter following of their opponent.
Wait, Central America has a Parliament?
Europe is not the only region to pursue economic and political integration - the Central American Integration System (SICA) was formed in 1991 to foster cooperation in Central America. SICA has a Secretary General, the Central American Court of Justice, regular meetings for Presidents and defense ministers, and an elected Parliament to ensure democratic control over integration. Most member states are also part of an open borders and economic integration agreement, similar to the European Union's integration patchwork.
Results are in, and Penitentiary Services Director Alejandro Giammattei has defeated First Lady Sandra Torres to become President of Guatemala. Despite the superior performance of Torres and her party on social media, as well as her party's victory in Congress and Central American Parliament. While Torres was the only candidate to win won million votes in the first round, a majority of voters selected a different candidate in that ballot, and that majority came back in August to support Giammattei. The correlation between votes for Torres and all other candidates vs. popular votes received by Tories and President-elect Giammattei is 100%. It should be noted that 1.8 million fewer people voted in the second round than the first, and those absent voters could have changed the outcome of the election.