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Guatemalans Vote in Presidential Election


Soldiers patrol outside a polling station in Guatemala City, September 10, 2011.

Soldiers patrol outside a polling station in Guatemala City, September 10, 2011.

Guatemalans head to the polls Sunday to select a new president.

Candidates have been running on promises to cut the country's rampant crime rate.

Recent public opinion polls in Guatemala indicate retired general Otto Perez has a sizable lead, but may not get the majority of votes needed to avoid a runoff in November. His main rival is businessman Manuel Baldizon, followed by Eduardo Suger. All three are right-leaning candidates.

The campaigns have focused on who will do the best job in controlling crime, primarily linked to drug trafficking.

The winner will take over in January, replacing President Alvaro Colom, who has been criticized for not lowering crime in Guatemala.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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