Giammattei swears in as Guatemala president under corruption cloud | AFP

Right-wing Alejandro Giammattei swears in as Guatemala’s new president with a vow to tackle corruption, replacing the unpopular Jimmy Morales. IMAGES

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Polls open for Guatemala presidential vote | AFP

Polls open in Guatemala, as former first lady Sandra Torres and opinion poll frontrunner Alejandro Giammattei bid to succeed the corruption-tainted Jimmy Morales as president. IMAGES

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Outgoing Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales casts his vote | AFP

Outgoing Guatemala’s President Jimmy Morales casts his vote as the Supreme Court opened voting at 7:00 am (1300 GMT) where a crowded field of 19 candidates is vying to succeed outgoing President. IMAGES

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Polls open for Guatemala’s presidential election | AFP

Guatemalans are set to elect a new president Sunday after gang violence, poverty and streams of US-bound migrants have dominated campaigning in Central America’s most populous country, where a crowded field of 19 candidates is vying to succeed outgoing president Jimmy Morales. IMAGES

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Guatemala opens Israel embassy in Jerusalem after US move

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales attend a ceremony in Jerusalem as Guatemala transfers its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Guatemala inaugurated its Israel embassy in Jerusalem on Wednesday, becoming the first country to follow in the footsteps of the United States’ deeply controversial move that was accompanied by deadly violence on the Gaza border.

Guatemala’s Anti-Corruption President Attacks Anti-Corruption Commission

Guatemala is in the midst of its second political crisis in as many years. The country elected political outsider Jimmy Morales in 2015, hoping for a fresh start, after its former president was brought down in a corruption scandal that shocked the country. But less than two years into his term, Morales is locked in a battle with one of the anti-corruption mechanisms that may have helped him get elected.

The United Nations and a previous Guatemalan administration founded an anti-corruption commission, popularly called the CICIG, in 2007. Its goal is to root out high level organized crime from the government. On Sunday, Morales declared the head of the CICIG a persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to leave the country. The country’s highest court has since deemed Morales’ declaration illegal.

Many Guatemalans see Morales’ failed move as an attempt to shield himself from ongoing CICIG fraud and illegal financing investigations into his family and political party. The scandal has shattered Morales’ image as an honest president, and led to calls for his resignation.

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