Baku, September 7, AZERTAC
Jimmy Morales, a comic actor who once played a blundering cowboy who accidentally became president, appeared on his way to a surprise victory in the first round of Guatemala`s presidential election on Sunday, but didn`t secure enough votes to avoid an October runoff.
With 72% of ballots counted, Mr. Morales led with nearly 27% of the vote. Manuel Baldizon, a right-wing businessman and former lawmaker, was in second place with 18%.Sandra Torres, a center-left former first lady, was close behind with 17%.
Because no one topped 50% of the vote, the top two finishers will face off on Oct. 25.
The regularly scheduled election came just days after President Otto Perez Molinaresigned and was jailed in connection with a customs fraud scandal, plunging the country into political crisis. Vice President Alejandro Maldonado was sworn in until the winner of the runoff takes office in January.