Jamaicans playing key role as Guatemalans vote today

Jamaicans playing key role as Guatemalans vote today

Sunday, June 16, 2019

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Two Jamaicans, general secretary of the People's National Party Julian Robinson and Coleen Wallen, are among representatives of 15 countries in Guatemala as part of an election observer mission as the people of that country go to the polls today.

Wallen is the legal director of the Electoral Office of Jamaica, while Robinson was selected based on his role as a nominated member of the Electoral Commission of Jamaica.

Two other English-speaking countries, St Lucia and Antigua, are represented among the observers as Guatemalans elect a new president, vice-president, 158 congress members and 340 mayors.

About 7.6 million Guatemalans are registered to vote with 27 political parties vying for Guatemala's top posts. If no candidate wins the first round with more than 50 per cent of the vote, there will be a second-round of presidential voting August 11.

Incumbent President Jimmy Morales is constitutionally prohibited from running for a second four-year term.

The observer mission will play a critical role in determining how the results are greeted as several Guatemalans have expressed fear that an election with minimal oversight will further entrench criminal interests in the State, fuelling more crime, corruption, poverty — and forced migration.

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