Guatemala Elects A Comedian As President

Jimmy Morales, a former TV comedian, won Guatemala's presidential elections on Sunday in a landslide victory taking 70% of votes.

Jimmy Morales, a 46-year-old former Guatemalan TV comedian and political novice, swept into office on Sunday in a landslide victory against the country's former first lady.

Morales' "Not Corrupt, Not a Crook" platform swayed voters during a year when the country's political system appeared broken at the highest levels, deepening an aversion to traditional establishment politicians, according to The New York Times.

“With this vote you made me president,” he said in a short victory statement Sunday night. “I have received a mandate, and the mandate of the people of Guatemala is to fight against the corruption that has consumed us.”

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Sandra Torres, a former first lady and presidential candidate who was seen as part of the old establishment, admitted defeat after receiving about 1.2 million votes — with only 68% of ballots cast — compared with 2.7 million votes for Morales, Guatemala's Supreme Electoral Tribunal showed.

“The people have made their choice, and we respect it," she said at a press conference. "We are going to offer constructive support that will benefit the country.”

Morales' victory comes as former president Otto Pérez Molina sits in jail awaiting the conclusion of an investigation into his role in a multimillion-dollar customs fraud case.

Street protests across the embattled country called for his resignation earlier this year. Molina, who was the military’s liaison during negotiations to end the country's bloody 36-year civil war, denied wrongdoing but eventually resigned in September.