National Intelligence Daily
centrist parlies are leading ss Guatemalans prepare to go lo the polls Sunday lo elect lhe lint civilian government tnears. No candtdtte appears able toa/onty, however,unolt likelyecember. Whoever wins will favor close lies to trie US and will lobby lor substantial US economic end military aid. I
Eight presidential candidates are running, and election rule* require the winner lo have an absolute maionty orunoll wiih live numoer-two votegetter. There areolitical parlies competingeats in the new congress and lor hundreds ot municipal olllccs. The new government is scheduled to taKe clticeive-year lerm onanuary.
}nosi candidates have avoided
oiiueaiiy iensifive issues thai could give ihe military grou-Ws io postpone or delay elections. In any event, lew subslanlive issues divide lhe ironl-runners. The campaign has been conducted anvd worsening economic cordllions. but the major contenders hive Ottered Utile more lhan vague economicci Us pari, the Army has kepi Us prgmiso ic remain impartial and has refused to endorse any candrdate.| |
Vinlclo Cerezo Arevtfo ol Iho Chnsiian Democratic Party is the dear Ironl-runner. Heenter.kinst who has assured the military herespecl its interests, who con! nes his economic reforms to such moderate measures as improving tax collecilon. and who is unlikely to try more extensive and politically tisky austerityand reform
person if appeal nave hurl his
Jorge Carpio Micelle ol the National Centrist Union-awho has sought to appeal lo all bulaccordingdata.
Divisions within hist chances!-
Polls show tne ultrarlgmist candidateistant founn, Out the patty still isoignificant number of congressional seals,
teftisi insurgents have not seriously dlsrupied Uie otccloralearlier reported plans toampaign ot turmnsm
have oeen limilec to hit-and-run attacks and propaganda activity against thejral areas and Ihat they lack We aDlllty to disrupt voting seriously in jrban areas. Never Ihclnss. isolated sets ol violence ic intimidatendcast dead on tho legitimacy of lie
A runoff between Cerezo and Carplo is likely to be closo.however, recognizes lhe fragility ot Ihe electoral process as well as the sensitivities ol the mllilar, and is likefy lo try tr> keep pollbcxlno within Ideiaote
A second-place showing byai.'eady has claimed ihat the military is rigging tie electiono>"'Cai The a'mad forces view nim as politically unacceptable
All truee major cancidalea stopo" the Contedora process ojislay on IM sideline Carplo and Serrano are moreSandinlala inteniions than Is Cerezo but oiobably seewaysmprove relations wiih Mexico and return toscene Ai; throo lavor cfciMr ties to Ine US andon large infjslons o' economic and military aid tocountry's grave economicOriginal document.