Guatemalans have voted in a presidential runoff election between a comedian with no political experience and a former first lady, amid outrage over a corruption scandal that felled the ex-president.
Jimmy Morales, a comic actor famous for playing a country bumpkin who nearly becomes president, headed into the vote with a huge lead – 68 percent to 32 percent for social democrat Sandra Torres, according to the final opinion poll.
It has been a remarkable ride for the conservative candidate, who started the race with just 0.5 percent support back in April.
His surge has capped a tumultuous campaign rocked by president Otto Perez's resignation and arrest on corruption charges on September 3, three days before the first-round vote.
Morales, 46, vowed to continue the fight against corruption as he cast his ballot, dressed in the jersey of the Guatemalan national football team.
"Guatemala has taught the world a lesson at this historic moment. We have to maintain that commitment," he said of the country's moves to bring corrupt leaders to justice.
Former president Perez, who is in jail awaiting trial, is accused of masterminding a corrupt network of politicians and customs officials that took bribes from businesses in exchange for illegal discounts on import duties.
Prosecutors and United Nations investigators say the network collected US$3.8 million in bribes between May 2014 and April 2015 – including US$800,000 each to Perez and jailed ex-vice president Roxana Baldetti.
The scandal, the worst in a string of recent corruption cases, has created an unprecedented climate of outrage in Guatemala, an impoverished Central American country torn by gang violence and still recovering from a 36-year civil war that ended in 1996.
Torres, 60, has an image as a steely and uncompromising manager from her time running the government's social programs during the administration of her ex-husband, Alvaro Colom, between 2008 and 2012.
She sought to present a softer side in the campaign, but has paid the price of being a political insider in a country fed up with politics.