Guatemala Tries Something Totally New: Electing a TV Comedian for President

In a shocking turn of events, Jimmy Morales, a television comedian with absolutely no political experience, won a presidential race with 70 percent of the vote and became Guatemala’s new president. Perhaps his key to success, as Vox points out, was his catchy slogan: “Not corrupt, not a thief”?

Guatemala is one of Latin America’s poorer countries. It’s also a haven for drug traffickers and has the world’s fifth-highest homicide rate. But how will this comedian, known as Guatemala’s Stephen Colbert, be able to make any progress?

Let’s start by acknowledging that Morales is an evangelical Christian with no real political platform. According to the BBC, he opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, and legalized drugs. He also endorses some off-the-wall policies, like “the tagging of teachers with a GPS device to ensure they attend classes and giving each Guatemalan child a smartphone.”

“I am aware that the challenge is enormous, but it’s not any greater than the will of the people who are ready for profound change for our beautiful nation,” says President Morales on his official Facebook page. “Our journey has barely begun…I need you always by my side, there will be great battles, but I have faith and the certainty that with work and effort, we’ll move forward.”

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Watch the presidential victory speech below:

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