Photo: Daniel Ortega and Otto Pérez
Former Army General Otto Pérez Molina won some 54% of the Guatemalan vote, while Ortega garnered 67% of the votes in Nicaragua, amid allegations of electoral fraud in Sundays Presidential election.
Otto Pérez Molina, a former Guatemalan Army General has become the new president of Guatemala having garnered 54% of the nation’s vote, over the 46% of his closest rival Manuel Baldizón.
Pérez, the candidate of the right-wing Patriotic Party, promised to hire 10,000 new police officers, and deploy 2,500 more soldiers, as part of his security program to combat the nation’s high murder rates, as well as drug cartels from neighboring Mexico.
Pérez has faced criticism for alleged abuses of power during his times as army general during Guatemala’s civil war; the new president, retired from duty for the past 11 years, has said there is no evidence to back up claims of human rights violations.
Daniel Ortega was reelected with 62.7% of the Nicaraguan vote, more than double the votes of his closest opponent, Radio Personality Fabio Gadea.
Gadea refused to accept the results, and accused Ortega of stuffing ballot boxes and obfuscating the electoral process for conservatives, making it difficult to cast their vote.
United States Department of State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the US is worried by reports of irregularities during the elections, and said that if the Nicaraguan government had nothing to hide, they should have allowed a larger number of international election observers.
International monitoring agencies present during the elections however, said voting irregularities had not changed the final result, and the secretary general of the Organization of American States, Jose Miguel Insulza said that on Sunday’s elections “Democracy and peace moved forward.”