GUATEMALA goes to the polls on Sunday to elect a new president. The favourite is Otto Pérez Molina, a retired general, whom we look at in detail in this week’s print edition. Absent from the ballot is Sandra Torres, the former first lady, who divorced Álvaro Colom, the president, in April in order to get around a constitutional ban on relatives of the president running to succeed him. The Constitutional Court threw out her candidacylast month, leaving the ruling party without a candidate.
Ms Torres had been Mr Pérez’s closest rival, according to most surveys. And yet oddly, her disqualification appears to have damaged him in the polls. According to one tracking poll published in Siglo 21, a newspaper, back in July Mr Pérez was on 53%, with Ms Torres on 16%. The same newspaper reported a couple of days ago that, with Ms Torres out of the race, Mr Pérez’s share had fallen eight points, to 45%.