Front-runners excluded from Guatemalan presidential race

Thelma Aldana, the candidate of the centre-left party Semilla, Zury Ríos, campaigning under the banner of right-wing party Valor, and Mauricio Radford, of the Fuerza party, have been barred from campaigning this election cycle. Former Attorney General and predicted leader of this presidential election Thelma Aldana, has been disqualified from the election by the Tribunal Supremo Electoral (TSE) due to ongoing investigations into alleged misappropriation of public funds. She subsequently submitted an appeal to the Constitutional Court, which was rejected. As for Zury Ríos, daughter of the leader of the 1982 coup, Efraín Ríos Montt, she has been banned on the grounds of a constitutional provision that precludes children and grandchildren of coup leaders from becoming President. Mauricio Radford has also been informed that his registration was revoked, after it was found that a case of identity fraud in which he is implicated is currently in progress. Many this cycle’s presidential candidates have been implicated in allegations of fraud, malfeasance, corruption, or in the case of Mario Estrada, the candidate who has been detained by the US Drug Enforcement Agency, conspiracy to commit murder and ties with narco-traffickers. Sandra Torres, of the Unidad Nacional De Esperanza party, is currently ahead in the polls, with a predicted 20% of votes in the first round, though she too is a controversial candidate having escaped disqualification following allegations of illicit financing in her 2015 presidential bid. During the last election cycle, she was beaten in the second round by current President Jimmy Morales.

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