Guatemala Elects TV Comedian President


Jimmy Morales (C), presidential candidate for the National Convergence Front party (FCN), gestures while arriving with his wife Gilda Marroquin (L) at a polling station in Guatemala City, October 25, 2015. REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez
Guatemala went to the polls to choose a new president. They chose Jimmy Morales, former comedian.

 

t’s a season of global political change. In the United Kingdom, Jeremy Corbyn defied corporate media’s predictions and became the leader of the Labour Party. In Canada, populist hearthrob Justin Trudeau has been elected the country’s new Prime Minister. In the United States, democratic socialist Bernie Sanders is enjoying campaign success few would have predicted was possible. On the Republican side, nationalist and former reality-TV star Donald Trump is leading the field.

And now Guatemala has joined the ranks of nations experiencing profound political change, thanks in part to a rising tide of populism around the globe. Jimmy Morales, a former TV comedian, beat opponent Sandra Torres in a landslide. The 46-year old “Moralejas” star has no prior government experience, but a lot of fresh ideas that voters apparently find more palatable than those of former first lady Torres.

"Jimmy Morales, presidential candidate for the National Convergence Front party (FCN) shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station in Guatemala City, October 25, 2015." (REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez)
“Jimmy Morales, presidential candidate for the National Convergence Front party (FCN) shows his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station in Guatemala City, October 25, 2015.”
(REUTERS/Jorge Dan Lopez)

Specifically, Morales campaigned hard against corruption in the previous administration. “As president I received a mandate, and the mandate of the people of Guatemala is to fight against the corruption that is consuming us,” Morales said.

On Reddit, one Guatemalan citizen pointed to this video, featuring Morales in a comedy sketch some might call distasteful:

Wow. Um… Let’s just say comedy is in the eye of the beholder. Yeah, that’s it.

That Reddit user offered some more insight, going so far as to call Morales the “Donald Trump of Guatemala.”

“He’s like the Donald Trump of Guatemala, never going into specifics about his policies. Hell he didn’t even show up to the last debate. The only hope I have is that Guatemala recently went through a protest phase, the UN found the previous administration guilty of corruption. I mean all administrations are corrupt, everyone knows that, but this time they had proof, recordings and witnesses. So the people marched to the presidential palace and president Otto Perez AND his vice-president, AND at least one judge resigned and are now in prison. Everyone was stunned, even Mexicans and other Central Americans. So HOPEFULLY this guy will think twice about keeping the status quo of impunity and corruption.”


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Timothy Bertrand
Writer and journalist living in the Houston, Texas area. Follow me for breaking news, editorials, pictures of cats doing human activities, and other such content from around the web.

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