Guatemalan presidential candidate Manuel Baldizon quit his political party and dropped out of the presidential race on Monday, leaving Comedian Actor Jimmy Morales and former first lady Sandra Torres, who has ties in Belize, in the runoff to be the country's next president.
Baldizon, of the Renewed Democratic Liberty party, told reporters that he couldn't endorse the results of the Sept. 6 vote that placed him in third place, but also in a statistical tie with Torres, though she garnered about 6,000 votes more than he did. Election authorities hadn't officially announced who had placed second and Baldizon never asked for a recount before quitting.
Today though Guatemala’s official election body, TSA, announced that after obtaining one million 152 thousand 394 votes, representing 23.99 percent of the valid votes, Morales of the FCN- Nacion Party moves on to the second round. Challenging him is Torres who received 948 thousand eight hundred and nine votes representing 19.75 percent of valid votes. In total five million 270 thousand 489 votes were casted, of which four million 802 thousand 730 are considered valid. Baldizon, who lost to former President Otto Perez Molina in 2011, was considered the front-runner and likely next president until a customs fraud scandal brought down the government of Perez Molina, who resigned and is now in jail facing graft charges. The second round of voting takes place on October 25th.
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