Guatemala’s interim president to help with current crisis

Guatemala City, Sep 5 (IANS) Guatemala’s new interim president Alejandro Maldonado assured Congress on Friday that he would help find a solution to the country’s current crisis.

Maldonado asked the government to do all to prepare for the transition before the next president takes over in January, saying the current cabinet should be ready to resign at any time to aid the transition, Xinhua cited the local daily Republica reporting.

Maldonado made his first cabinet change, asking Alfredo Pimentel, secretary of Administrative Affairs and Security, to step down in favour of Juan Jose Recinos.

He nominated Raquel Zelaya, Alfonso Fuentes Soria, and Gabriel Medrano as vice presidential candidates. The Congress will vote on which of the three should assume the role.

Maldonado also said his presidential salary would be entirely donated to charities helping the elderly.

Guatemala is set to hold presidential elections on Sunday to pick a successor to former President Otto Perez Molina.

Perez resigned from his position on Thursday and was subsequently jailed for his involvement in a customs fraud ring.

Maldonado was chosen to serve as vice president in mid-May, after vice president Roxana Baldetti was forced to step down amid allegations of corruption linked to the same scheme that brought down the president.

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