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Carter Center Congratulates Guatemalan President-Elect Jimmy Morales

Contact: In Atlanta, Soyia Ellison, 1-404-420-5124

ATLANTA — On Oct. 21, The Carter Center sent a small, high-level political delegation to Guatemala City for Sunday's run-off presidential election. The presence of the delegation did not constitute an electoral observation but was an expression of the international community's high interest in Guatemala's democratic process.

The Carter Center congratulates President-Elect Jimmy Morales, who won with over 67 percent of the vote and will take office on Jan. 14. The Carter Center encourages his team to move swiftly toward institutional reforms to overcome the structural divisions in Guatemalan society and to provide a transition to a more transparent and accountable government. The new administration must address the societal demands to combat corruption and to improve health, education, and security. We also encourage civil society to continue its active participation to strengthen democracy during this period of transition.

A Carter Center delegation was in the country for the first round of voting on Sept. 6, when, despite a climate of political uncertainty and concerns over potential eruptions of violence, a record 70 percent of Guatemalans cast ballots. This was the highest turnout since Guatemala's transition to democracy in 1985, demonstrating the importance the Guatemalan people placed upon the election. Participation in the run-off election reached 56 percent, and the electoral process was carried out in an orderly and peaceful manner that resulted in a determination of the winner before 9 p.m. on election day.

The Carter Center delegation was present at the invitation of the Guatemalan Supreme Electoral Tribunal, led by Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter Jorge Castañeda, former foreign minister of Mexico; and John Maisto, former U.S. ambassador to the Organization of American States; along with Jennie Lincoln, director of the Carter Center's Americas Program.

About The Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter
The Friends of the Inter-American Democratic Charter group is composed of former presidents, prime ministers, cabinet ministers, and human rights leaders from the Western Hemisphere who seek to increase the visibility of the Inter-American Democratic Charter and to prevent democratic tensions from erupting into crises. The Friends visit countries to assess democratic tensions, encourage citizens and governments to make use of international resources to defend their democracies and to resolve constitutional conflicts, and recommend ways for the OAS to apply the charter in a constructive and preventative manner. The Carter Center serves as secretariat for the Friends.


The Carter Center
"Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope."

A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in over 80 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and economic opportunity; preventing diseases; and improving mental health care.  The Carter Center was founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter, in partnership with Emory University, to advance peace and health worldwide.


El Centro Carter Congratula al Presidente Electo de Guatemala Jimmy Morales

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