Guatemalan Comedian Leads Presidential Vote

Guatemalan Comedian Leads Presidential VoteGuatemalan Comedian Leads Presidential Vote

Comedian Jimmy Morales led the early count Monday in Guatemala’s presidential election, after a tumultuous campaign sparked by the jailing of the country’s leader over a corruption scandal.

With 58.5% of the ballots counted, Morales–a 46-year-old actor who rose to fame playing a simpleton who accidentally ends up becoming president-was ahead with 26.5% of the vote, AFP reported.

With no candidate likely to take the 50% necessary to avoid a runoff, the election seemed bound for an October 25 second-round runoff between Morales and whichever of the two other candidates finishes second.

Longtime frontrunner and fellow conservative Manuel Baldizon, who had 17.8% of the vote, was neck-and-neck with former first lady Sandra Torres on 16.8%.

The results, which showed the two established politicians bested by a political outsider seemed to demonstrate Guatemalans’ exasperation with the traditional political elite.

“The people are tired of more of the same; this is reflected in the results,” Morales told reporters after learning of his lead.