New President in Guatemala

New President in GuatemalaNew President in Guatemala

Guatemala’s newly sworn-in president demanded that all top government officials submit their resignations and promised an honest and inclusive administration amid the surprise resignation and detention of President Otto Perez Molina on Thursday.

President Alejandro Maldonado, a 79-year-old conservative former high court justice, has served as Guatemala’s foreign minister and in ambassadorial posts. Maldonado was sworn in by Guatemalan lawmakers hours after Perez Molina’s resignation, and will likely remain in office until the winner of presidential elections to be held next Sunday is inaugurated in January. Protesters against Perez Molina’s administration have demanded that the vote be postponed, Al Jazeera reported.  

“You can’t consider your work done,” Maldonado said in remarks aimed at the demonstrators, who continue to demand change at ongoing rallies. “In what is left of this year, there must be a positive response.”

Police officers escorted Guatemala’s former president to an overnight jail stay on Thursday, amid a corruption scandal that has roiled the nation’s government.

Prosecutors have said they have reason to believe Perez Molina was involved in a fraud scandal involving bribes funneled to a chain of officials who helped businesses evade import duties.

Perez Molina denies the allegations, calling them hearsay. He says the jail stay is unnecessary and reiterated his willingness to face the corruption investigation head-on.

the corruption scandal involved a scheme known as “La Linea,” or “The Line,” in which businesspeople paid bribes to avoid import duties through the customs agency. The ring is believed to have defrauded the state of millions of dollars.