Comedian With No Political Experience Elected President Of Guatemala By Landslide

Jimmy Morales, a former TV comedian with no prior political experience, has won the Guatemalan presidency Sunday by a wide margin, the Guardian reports.

Jimmy Morales, who starred in a comedy sketch show for 14 years and who once played a cowboy who accidentally became president, dominated the polls by acquiring more than 72 percent of total votes, easily defeating former First Lady Sandra Torres. Morales reportedly won the presidential elections quite handily by taking advantage of the citizens’ intense distrust of the old political regime, which was sparked by a multi-million dollar customs scandal involving newly-deposed President Otto Perez and his vice president. Perez was impeached, stripped of his presidential immunity, and arrested in September. He is currently being held in a military prison where he awaits trial.

Jimmy Morales released a statement shortly after all the votes were counted.

“As president I received a mandate, and the mandate of the people of Guatemala is to fight against the corruption that is consuming us. God bless and thank you.”

Jimmy’s lack of experience in public service reared its ugly head on several occasions throughout his entire campaign. Morales released a six-page manifesto that lacked any clues as to how he will govern the country once he takes the seat of the presidency. Morales has also become quite infamous for suggesting unsound strategies in policy-making, such as tagging professors with a GPS tracking device to ensure that they’ll show up in class as well as giving an iPhone to each Guatemalan child. Jimmy also declared that his National Convergence Front (NCF) will only appoint 11 members out of all 158 seats in the next Congress. He did express his intent to rid the country of corruption and to favor limited government and lower taxes.

Sandra Torres, First Lady to Alvaro Colom, also vowed to battle corruption when she steps into the office of the presidency. She was responsible for several government social programs during her ex-husband’s term between 2008 and 2012. Most voters, however, see her as part of the old political regime, which again gave the advantage to Morales. Torres admitted defeat even before all votes were counted as Morales’ lead margin became even wider.

Most citizens of Guatemala already expected Jimmy Morales to win the presidency for months on account of him dominating the voter surveys since early September. Interestingly, voter turnout has been low, which is indicative of the fact that most voters aren’t entirely keen on voting for either candidate and only had to settle for Jimmy just so they can extricate themselves from traditional politics.

“We are tired of the same faces,” Ana Fuentes, a street seller, told Reuters. “Jimmy Morales doesn’t really convince me; I was not even going to vote. But he is the only option.”

“We’re tired of Guatemala’s old-style politics… the wholesale robbery of Guatemala,” 47-year-old small business owner Alejandro Cruz told the Guardian after he cast his vote. “I voted for Jimmy Morales. I do think he will be victorious, and that today will be a historic day.”

“We are tired of the same faces,” Ana Fuentes, a street seller, told Reuters. “Jimmy Morales doesn’t really convince me; I was not even going to vote. But he is the only option.”

“He (Morales) has no program and no team,” Hugo Novales, a Guatemalan political analyst, told Time. “But discontent is so high that those issues aren’t a priority for your average voter.”

[Image via @jimmymoralegt / Twitter]