Sandra Torres, Edmond Mulet and Zury Ríos Sosa appear as favorites in the Guatemalan presidential elections
From then on, Zury started to defend the “legacy” of the dictatorship, with a speech that evokes a supposed “maintenance of order, security and normality” in that period. This rhetoric convinced part of society, making her partially recover her father’s image and allowing her to be positioned as a presidential figure of the far-right Valor party.
Two surveys place the extremist in first place in the dispute. The Mexican consultant GI360, in a survey published on June 14, indicates that Zury has 25.5%, against 21.5% for Torres, 16.8% for Mulet and 5.6% for Conde.
The company Espacio Muestral, disclosed this Tuesday (20/06), says that Zury leads with 19.5%, while Torres has 17.8%, Mulet has 15.6% and Conde 4.9%.
When everything indicated favoritism for two women in the presidential race, the center-right male candidacy of a former employee of the United Nations (UN) appeared.
Lawyer, politician and diplomat Edmond Mulet worked for 11 years at the multilateral organization’s New York headquarters, during which time he held important positions: he was head of the UN Mission for the Stabilization of Haiti (MINUSTAH) and on two occasions: between June 2006 and August 2007, and January 2010 and May 2011. He was also Ban Ki-moon’s chief of staff between 2015 and 2016.
Before that, Mulet was deputy of the Guatemalan Congress (1986 and 1993), becoming president of the house (1991 and 1992). He also served as a diplomat at the two most important embassies in the country: in the United States (1993 and 1996) and in the European Union (2000 and 2006).
Mulet’s resume projects him as a highly respectable figure in Guatemala, and is his main discursive asset in a country where the last three presidents have suffered from accusations of corruption – the aforementioned Giammattei and Morales, as well as the also conservative Otto Pérez Molina.
In 2020, Mulet founded his own party, the Cabal, which allied with the Humanist Party of Guatemala to strengthen the politician’s image as leader of a platform that seeks to pacify the country. However, economically, his program defends liberal ideas and fiscal austerity, with limited space for social programs.
Furthermore, the very image of an internationally successful man has its Achilles heel in his links with the human rights violations committed by MINUSTAH in Haiti, although this theme has not been explored in the presidential campaign so far.
The consultancy Prosperidad Ciudadana, owned by influencer Carlos Pineda, published this Wednesday (21/06) the only poll that puts Mulet in first place, with 17.9% of the voting intentions, although technically tied with Torres, who has 16, 6%, and also with Zury, who has 16.1%. The ruling Conde appears with 4.5%.
Pineda and Count
Carlos Pineda, who published the poll favorable to Mulet, is not only Guatemala’s most famous influencer and tiktoker, he was also a presidential candidate until the month of May. His party has the same name as his consultant: Prosperidade Cidadã, and defends an ultraliberal discourse, like that of the New Party in Brazil.
A few weeks ago, Pineda was third in the race, even appearing in second place in some polls, with figures close to 20% of the voting intentions.
However, at the end of May, Guatemala’s Constitutional Court annulled the ultraliberal’s ticket, alleging irregularities in the assembly that made his candidacy official.
It is also worth remembering that Pineda’s candidacy was not the first to be annulled by the Guatemalan court. In January, the Constitutional Court also barred the registration of the left-wing Movement for the Liberation of the Peoples party, which had launched the campaign of indigenous leader Thelma Cabrera.
From then on, polls began to expect a migration of votes from the former candidate to other presidential candidates. According to the local press, Torres and Mulet were the most benefited by this change in scenario, which generated concern in certain sectors of the right, who expected that part of this electorate would support another representative: Manuel Conde, from the government party Vamos.
However, the low popularity of President Giammattei did not allow this plan to materialize.
Still, local analysts give Conde some importance, saying his unsuccessful candidacy could be abandoned at the last minute by voters who prefer to defend Zury or Mulet on Sunday, in an attempt to weaken the progressive Torres or even remove her from the second round.