Alejandro Giammattei to serve as Guatemala’s next president

Latin America

Alejandro Giammattei to serve as Guatemala's next presidentGuatemalan presidential candidate for the Vamos (Let’s Go) party Alejandro Giammattei (C) speaks to supporters next to running mate Guillermo Castillo (R) at the party headquarters in Guatemala City on August 11, 2019 after the run-off presidential election. – Giammattei declared victory in Sunday’s run-off election in Guatemala, holding a major lead with the results from more than 90 percent of polling stations counted. (Photo by JOHAN ORDONEZ / AFP)

The reality of a new presidential administration is sinking in for Guatemalans.

President-elect Dr. Alejandro Giammattei takes office in January. CGTN’s Franc Contreras went to the streets of the Guatemalan capital to see how citizens are feeling about the outcome of the vote.

Newspapers are announcing the victory of president-elect Alejandro Giammattei, but what exactly does it mean for the lives of regular Guatemalans and their personal finances?

Giammattei has spent 20 years seeking the presidency. Journalists and citizens are asking him how he will deal with the most complex problems that Guatemala faces – such as immigration.

Medical student Caitlyn Ochoa reluctantly voted for Giammattei, calling him the least bad candidate. Ochoa said she was drawn to him because he is a medical doctor and has suffered from multiple sclerosis. She hopes that will make him aware of the needs of the population.

Corruption among elected politicians is a main concern for Guatemalans. The prevailing perception here is that they seek office to enrich themselves.

72-year-old Carlos Barahona earns a living driving a taxi in the Guatemalan capital. He said that ever since this nation’s independence, a few privileged families have seized control of the economy. And they do not share the wealth with others.

Such pessimism aimed at governing officials is widely shared across Guatemalan society.