Guatemalan comedian wins presidency in landslide

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Baku, October 26 AZERTAC

Jimmy Morales, a former TV comedian who has never held office, swept to power in Guatemala's presidential election on Sunday after milking public anger over a corruption scandal that deepened distrust of the country's political establishment.

According to Reuters, the 46-year-old Morales overwhelmingly beat center-left rival and former first lady Sandra Torres in a run-off vote despite his lack of government experience and some policy ideas that strike many as eccentric.

The headquarters of Morales' center-right National Convergence Front (FCN) party erupted in celebration as official returns showed he had around 68 percent support in a landslide victory.

Voters pointed to widespread discontent with Guatemala's political class, compounded by a U.N.-backed investigation into a multi-million dollar customs racket that led last month to the resignation and arrest of former president Otto Perez.

Morales' rival Torres warned voters that the country needed experience, not a maverick. "Guatemala is not a comedy," she said during the campaign.

The election is a wake-up call to the impoverished Central American country's established parties, which have been shaken by investigations led by the Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG), the U.N.-backed anti-corruption body.

Morales' manifesto was just six pages long, giving few clues as to how he might govern, and his FCN party will have just 11 out of 158 seats in the next Congress.

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