Ex-prisons chief Alejandro Giammattei says he will seek to modify controversial pact with US
A conservative law and order hardliner promising to reinstate the death penalty and deploy soldiers on to the streets has been elected the new president of Guatemala.
Alejandro Giammattei, 63, a former prisons chief backed by the countrys economic and military power brokers, trounced his opponent Sandra Torres, a former first lady, to win Sundays presidential race on his fourth attempt by securing 58% of the vote.
Despite the landslide victory, the low turnout triggered immediate questions about Giammatteis legitimacy: about 60% of eligible voters abstained after both candidates failed to inspire hope in the Central American country, where tens of thousands of people flee extreme poverty, famine, violence and corruption every month.
Giammatteis triumph comes amid growing tension with the US over migration and asylum. Shortly before his victory, Giammattei said he wanted to change a controversial migration deal signed with the US by his predecessor, Jimmy Morales.
More than 250,000 Guatemalans, mainly unaccompanied children and families, have been apprehended at the US border since October 2018 compared with 115,722 in the previous 12 months. Giammattei says he will stop the exodus by prioritising corruption, employment and security.