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Guatemala elections to serve as crucial test for democracy in Central America

Polls show centre-left anti-corruption candidate has the lead as Sunday’s vote takes place against backdrop of smear campaigns

Guatemala is bracing for elections this weekend seen as a key test for the rule of law, amid growing concerns over the state of democracy in Central America. Sunday’s vote takes place against a backdrop of smear campaigns, legal manoeuvring and an apparent effort to force the leading candidate out of the race.

Opinion polls show the centre-left anti-corruption candidate Bernardo Arévalo with a double-digit lead over his opponent, Sandra Torres, a former first lady who in 2011 divorced her husband in a failed attempt to dodge a constitutional ban on close relatives of the incumbent running for the office.

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