Guatemala's Giammattei will face immediate challenges

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Significance

The victory of Giammattei, of the opposition Vamos grouping, marks a win for conservative forces in Guatemala and a high rejection rate for Torres. However, a high abstention rate and a weak position in the legislature will undermine Giammattei from the start, signalling a weak presidency dependent on legislative alliances. Giammattei will take office in January 2020, with the intervening months likely to see the appointment of his cabinet and clarification of his immediate policy agenda.

Impacts

  • Giammattei’s election means the mandate of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala is set to end in September.
  • The outgoing president is likely to leave Guatemala as soon as his term ends, given ongoing corruption investigations.
  • Bilateral relations with the United States will depend on the outcome of the controversial “safe third country” migration deal.
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