GUATEMALA: GUATEMALANS VOTING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ELECTIONS IN WHICH ALL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE TAKING PARTRecord ID: 639762
- Title: GUATEMALA: GUATEMALANS VOTING FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ELECTIONS IN WHICH ALL POLITICAL PARTIES ARE TAKING PART
- Date: 12th November 1995
- Summary: GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA (NOVEMBER 12, 1995) (RTV - ACCESS ALL) 1. SV CITY 0.02 2. SV PEOPLE QUEUING TO VOTE / POLICE 0.13 3. SCU FRANCISCO BALLADARES (GREY HAIR AND WITH GLASSES) CANDIDATE FOR PROGRESSIVE LIBERATION PARTY VOTING 1.02 4. SV FORMER DICTATOR GENERAL EFRAIN RIOS MONTT (WEARING SUIT AND HAS MOUSTACHE) FROM THE GUATEMALAN REPUBLICAN FRONT (FRG) VOTING 1.25 5. SV ALVARO ARZU (WEARING BLUE JACKET) OF THE RIGHT-WING NATIONAL ADVANCEMENT PARTY (PAN) VOTING 2.05 6. SV VOTERS OUTSIDE POLLING BOOTH 2.15 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.
- Reuters ID: LVA660GYFIQIV5PU2T9MJ79Q0MF8
- Location: GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA
- Country: Guatemala
- Duration: 00:02:17
- Story Text: Guatemalans voted on Sunday (November 12) in presidential and legislative elections endorsed for the first time in decades by both government and opposition forces.
Guatemala's powerful army was confined to barracks for the day and leftist rebels observed a 14-day cease fire.
Although the left is unlikely to do well at the polls, it is the first time in Guatemala's violent history that all shades of the political spectrum are taking part in the electoral process.
Guatemala's Marxist rebels, ending a 35-year-election boycott, have close allies running as candidates.
But the 19 candidates have done little to impress voters already disillusioned by the weakness and corruption of three civilian presidents who have ruled Guatemala since democracy was restored in 1986.
The right-wing National Advancement Party (PAN) of Alvaro Arzu, an oligarch of Russian extraction, was expected to top the polls although Arzu will face a run-off vote on January 7 if he fails to win more than 50 per cent.
Arzu, widely viewed as honest but uninspiring, focused his campaign on ending corruption and discrimination in Guatemala, where more than 60 per cent of the population belong to Mayan Indian communities.
Opinion polls predicted PAN had around 40 per cent support with the Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) of former dictator General Efrain Rios Montt trailing second with 15-25 per cent.
Rios Montt was constitutionally banned from running as the FRG's candidate, but his surrogate, lawyer Alfonso Portillo, has enjoyed a late surge in support.
A clean vote should help ongoing peace talks and give a much-needed boost to Guatemala's search for stability, analysts said.
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