Wednesday, June 19, 2019


If a number of the candidates in the UK's over-subscribed race to No10 entered primarily in order to raise their profile and earn a post in the eventual winner's cabinet, certain candidates in Guatemala's own somewhat crowded and chaotic general election appear to have entered in order to be able to have a better shot at it in four or perhaps even eight years time.

One might suggest that Donald Trump was placed in the White House by people who valued his richness, his whiteness and his masculinity over any other qualities he might have. Aristotle's most significant contribution to western ethics was the observation that virtues are not the opposite of vices - rather a fudge somewhere between two of them - so, electing poor, female, non-white people is not necessarily the answer to the aforementioned voting 'vice' - given that membership of a particular demographic is never on its own going to make an individual best qualified to be head of state.

Thelma Cabrera does indeed seem somewhat under-qualified to be Guatemalan president, but given the nature of the incumbent, these things are relative.
She has benefitted this time round from the slightly rudderless nature of the anti-corruption movement, following the exclusion of Thelma Aldana, but along the way has massively enhanced her profile and improved the possibilities for indigenous candidates, while simultaneously (and amusingly) diminishing those of characters like Roberto Arzú.

If Sandra Torres now goes on to win, in four years time she will depart the political scene and UNE's rural power base may well be up for grabs.

Meanwhile the other Thelma may yet get her chance and at some point Neto Bran is bound to become a (national) problem.

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