Looking ahead to Guatemala’s elections
Presidential elections are scheduled for September 11, 2011 in Guatemala. For the first time in a decade the Guatemalan left is entering the election campaign united. The Alternative for a New Nation (ANN) and the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Unity (URNG), both parties coming out of the former rebel movement (and in which many of our friends in the CCDA are active), have allied with the New Republic Movement (MNR), a new left party comprised mainly of younger activists who came out of the student movement of the 1990s, to create the Frente Amplio, (Broad Front). While it has not yet formally joined, Rigoberta Menchu’s WINAQ political movement is also in talks about becoming part of the Frente.
Divisions during the last three elections resulted in poor, single digit showings for all the left parties, but in the 2007 elections in much of the Mayan highlands, the sum of Winaq, the ANN and URNG votes was greater than the total vote for the winning party. So, if the Frente Amplio manages to hold together until the September 11 vote, it has the potential to make a much stronger showing than in previous elections.
For more information on the leading candidates and some of the serious issues which are likely to impact the elections, see the analysis by Rights Action.