Friday, July 8, 2011

Eduardo Suger for President

It's time for Eduardo Suger of CREO to make his move. Suger is in the second tier of Guatemalan presidential candidates. I don't have all his poll numbers but he's averaging about 5% since December. Not good, but worth fighting on. In addition, his chances might have just gotten better. He are his competitors.

First, there's Otto Perez MolinaAnnie Bird, Co-Director of Rights Action, Jennifer Harbury, Human Rights Attorney, and Kelsey Alford-Jones, Director, Guatemala Human Rights Commission-USA, recently requested that Juan Méndez, the Special Raporteur on Torture in the UN Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights, investigate Perez Molina for human rights violations committed during the country's civil war. I'm not sure that the charges are new to anyone in Guatemala, but they still might hurt his political support. And then on Thursday, his daughter's bodyguard shot a municipal transit police officer. The officer remains in critical condition. That probably won't help him either.

Second, there's Sandra Torres. The TSE has made a living out of rejecting her candidacy because they believe that she divorced Alvaro Colom solely to circumvent the constitutional prohibition on relatives of the president from becoming president. Sorry, but that's what they call fraud. UNE and GANA are now postponing their assemblies scheduled for this weekend.

Prensa Libre
Third, Manuel Baldizon of LIDER has been slightly ahead of Suger in most of the polls. Baldizon hasn't necessarily done anything wrong, but LIDER's mayoral candidate in San José Pinula, Luis Marroquin, remains in jail after having killed his two main competitors and then faking an attempt on his life so as to throw authorities off the scent. Following Marroquin's arrest, Baldizon tried to draw some distance between his candidacy and party and the accused killer. He said that Marroquin hadn't been LIDER's candidate for at least two weeks. LIDER also tried the excuse that they didn't know that much about Marroquin when he was chosen as their mayoral candidate and that they should be blamed because he was such a bad guy.

Another one of Suger's close competitors is Harold Caballeros of the Viva-EG coalition. Caballeros just found out, however, that he isn't allowed to run for president either because he is an evangelical minister. Caballeros claims that he hasn't been active for the last five years so the ban does not apply to him. 

As for the other candidates, nobody knows who they are. I forgot, there's one more candidate Suger has to worry about. Alejandro Giammattei (CASA) just entered the race after being let out of prison. 

Dr. Suger is a Ph.D. in Mathematical Physics from the University of Texas at Austin and says that education is the way to move Guatemala forward. During the presidential debate two weeks ago, Suger said that the country needs more than foreign troops to fight drug trafficking and organized crime and that he was open to the possibility of legalizing drugs. However, he fears that the US would make Guatemala suffer as a result. He also thought that it was fair if Guatemalan elites paid more in taxes to finance security.         

It's getting late in the game, but Suger could creep up towards the number two position in the next series of polls and that might not be such a bad thing for Guatemala.

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