GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - A Guatemalan comedian who led a first round of presidential elections this month will face off against a former first lady in a second round of voting in October, after a conservative businessman announced his resignation on Monday.
With 99.1 percent of votes counted from elections on Sept. 6, Manuel Baldizon was in third place, trailing leftist former first lady Sandra Torres by about 6,000 votes.
Baldizon said he would step down as head of the Renewed Democratic Liberty (Lider) party, ending his presidential bid, since Guatemalan law forbids candidates from running without party support.
Comic actor Jimmy Morales, whose anti-corruption message resonated with voters after a graft scandal felled President Otto Perez, won easily, but he did not secure the 50 percent of votes needed to head off a second round of voting on Oct. 25.
“They asked me to accept the results [but] my dignity and my honor are priceless...I do not endorse this electoral process,” Baldizon said at a news conference, adding that he would not support either of the candidates.
Baldizon was a favorite to win earlier this year until his vice presidential running mate, Edgar Barquin, was accused of corruption. Barquin has not yet been charged.
The conservative businessmen accused election authorities of fraud last week, since they have yet to publish final results of the polls in central America’s largest economy.
Reporting by Sofia Menchu and Enrique Pretel; Writing by Alexandra Alper; Editing by Ken Wills