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President Bush Congratulates Incoming Guatemalan Leader

President Bush has congratulated Guatemala's newly elected president, saying he wants to work closely with the new leader.

White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said Tuesday Mr. Bush called President-Elect Alvaro Colom to congratulate him on his victory in the November 4 presidential election.

She said President Bush told Mr. Colom the U.S. would like to expand the good relationship between the two countries.

Mr. Colom, who had made two previous bids for the presidency, based his campaign on pledges to reduce poverty and confront the country's economic and social problems.

He will replace outgoing President Oscar Berger on January 14.

At least 50 people were killed in violence related to this year's presidential elections, making it the deadliest political campaign since Guatemala's 36-year civil war ended in 1996.