Alejandro Maldonado sworn in as Guatemalan president

Guatemala City, Sep 4 (IANS) Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre was sworn in as new president of Guatemala following the resignation of Otto Perez Molina.

He will complete Perez’s remaining term of office till January 14, 2016 and hand over power to the winning candidate from this Sunday’s elections, reported Xinhua news agency.

Guatemala’s congress stripped Perez of his immunity from prosecution on Tuesday, given his suspected involvement in a criminal enterprise to defraud the country’s customs bureau.

Perez was arrested on Thursday after his resignation. Prosecutors said the president and his former vice-president Roxana Baldetti received $3.7 million in bribes in just one year.

This money was allegedly raised by getting companies importing goods to Guatemala to pay bribes and avoid paying customs tariffs. According to the prosecution, Perez Molina and Baldetti kept 50 percent of this money while the other half went to their cronies.

Maldonado became vice president after his predecessor, Roxana Baldetti, resigned amid allegations of corruption.

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