|05/09/2011 | Guatemala in Final Stage of Electoral Campaign
Inside Costa Rica
In the final stretch of the campaign, when there are only a few days remaining for the elections, presidential candidates focus more on criticizing rivals that on proposing concrete solutions to the problems of Guatemala.
The candidate of the Patriot Party, Otto Perez Molina, is still complaining about the work of the group in government, the National Unity for Hope (UNE), although it no longer has any candidate for president.
Perez Molina attacks aim to try to reduce the number of those who might vote for candidates for parliament and mayors for the UNE and its ally, the Grand National Alliance.
Perez Molina feels very confident of winning the presidential election, but did not think he could do it in the first round, because polls do not predict the half plus one of votes necessary.
The final decision on the elections is held by voters in seven of the 22 departments, which account for 60.3 percent of electors.
In the districts of Guatemala, Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Alta Verapaz, Quetzaltenango, Quiche and Escuintla
4,420,783 people are eligible to vote from the 7,340,841 registered.
These voters will not only define the presidential election, but also the 333 municipalities, the 158 legislative seats, and 20 deputies and alternates delegations of the Central American Parliament, based in Guatemala.
The process of election is breaking records in several ways, the first is in the register, representing an increase of 1,350,812 citizens in relation to the election four years ago.
For the first time, women outnumber men in the inscriptions, representing 51 per cent.
Those authorized to vote are less than half of an estimated 14,713,763 people, and therefore, the majority will have no say in the elections.
The number of young voters, 18 to 25 years, this time increased to 449,411 compared to the 2007 elections, and represent 33 percent of likely voters.
According to experts, a novelty this time is the use by the citizens of two documents to verify their identities, neighbourhood cards and the personal identification documents.
There is little time for the crucial moment, but
the contending parties have already spent more than authorized for the promotion of candidates since May 2, when the process started.
According to data released by Mirador Electoral, the organization responsible for monitoring this information, the expenditure has reached almost $35 million USD in the proselytizing campaigns.
Where does that money come from, analysts are wondering, because while the groups mentioned donations by6 activists and friends (without revealing names), it is rumored that some of it comes from illegal activities such as drug trafficking.
In any case, as stated by the leader of the NGO Citizen Action Alfredo Marroquin, quoted by a newspaper, that level of spending is surprising in a country where 51 percent of the population lives in poverty.
Inside Costa Rica (Costa Rica)
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