Advanced Search

Latinnews Daily - 14 August 2003

GUATEMALA: Bueso bails out of presidential race

The businessman Ricardo Bueso has pulled out of the presidential race for the 9 November elections because of his concern at the controversial registration of retired General Efraí­n Rí­os Montt for the ruling Frente Republicano Guatemalteco (FRG). 

Bueso was running on the Democracia Cristiana Guatemalteca (DCG) ticket. He was sitting sixth in the polls on 2.3%, directly behind Rí­os Montt, who is running at a mere 3.3% in the latest Vox Latina polls. The DCG president, Vinicio Cerezo (himself a former President) did not rule out the possibility of the DCG supporting one of the other candidates. He made it clear that the party would not, however support Rí­os Montt or the frontrunner, Oscar Berger, of the centrist Gran Alianza Nacional (GANA). Berger is running at 44% support. 

Bueso is the third, and most significant, candidate to pull out of this year's elections. Last week, Rodolfo Paiz, of the Unión Democrática (UD), withdrew his candidacy to support Berger. Earlier this week the first indigenous leader ever to stand for election, Rigoberto Quemé, followed suit after falling out with part of his political alliance, the Alianza Nueva Nación (ANN). Quemé was supported by ANN, Centro de Acción Social (Casa) and 14 civic movements. A popular mayor of Guatemala's second-largest city Quetzaltenango, Quemé took 1.5% of voter intentions in the latest polls. He said he would continue to work for change within the country's social movements.