Ex-Guatemalan First Lady Can't Run for President Despite Divorce

The former Guatemalan first lady's marriage is over – and so, it appears, is her political career.

Sandra Torres' bid to succeed her ex-husband, Alvaro Colom, came to an end late Monday when the constitutional court ruled her ineligible to run because of her relationship to the president.

Torres' divorce in the spring came just after she announced her bid as the candidate of the ruling National Unity for Hope party in the Sept. 11 national elections.

Court President Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre said her candidacy still violates a constitutional ban on relatives of the chief executive running for the office because she was his wife for most of his term. Torres had appealed earlier decisions by election officials and lower courts that banned her candidacy.

Maldonado noted late Monday that the constitutional court decision was unanimous and final. Several women supporters of Torres cried outside the court when they heard the decision over the radio.

There was no immediate comment from Torres.

The ruling avoided the question of whether she committed fraud when she divorced Colom in March.

The court case began after Electoral officials said that Guatemala’s former first lady’s divorce was a ruse to run for office in deciding that she cannot circumvent a law preventing a chief executive's family members from seeking office.

Colom is not eligible for re-election. Polls favor retired Gen. Otto Pérez Molina of the Patriotic Party in the race.

Based on reporting by the Associated Press.

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