Guatemalan conservative Alejandro Giammattei secured a crushing victory in a presidential election on Sunday, and promised to seek better terms for his country from an unpopular migration deal agreed with Washington under duress last month.
With preliminary results from over 99% of polling stations counted, the electoral tribunal declared Giammattei the winner with more than 58% of the vote, ahead of his center-left rival, former first lady Sandra Torres, with 42%.
Speaking a few hours before being declared the winner, Giammattei said he wanted to see what could be done to improve the deal that outgoing President Jimmy Morales made to stem U.S.-bound migration from Central America.
Giammattei will not take office until January, by which time Guatemala may be under severe pressure from the deal, which effectively turns the country into a buffer zone, by forcing migrants to seek refuge there rather than in the United States.
“I hope that during this transition the doors will open to get more information so we can see what, from a diplomatic point of view, we can do to remove from this deal the things that are not right for us, or how we can come to an agreement with the United States,” Giammattei, 63, told Reuters in an interview.