Guatemalans voted Sunday in an unusual presidential election that came days after the incumbent president resigned and was jailed in a corruption scandal.
Early results were inconclusive, but most pundits expected the election to lead to a runoff among the top finishers next month.
After months of peaceful protest and a week that saw the country plunged into turmoil following the resignation of President Otto Perez Molina, voters were faced with a choice of 14 candidates, most of whom were seen as representing some variant of the status quo.
"There is a lot of skepticism because these parties and candidates don't represent us. There isn't much conviction [among voters] — it's just more of the same," said Helen Mack, a prominent human rights activist.
Still, voting was fairly heavy: Guatemala's Electoral Tribunal said that within five hours of the polls opening, more than half of registered voters had cast their ballots.
The election took place despite calls to Guatemala's electoral authority from the protest movement that the balloting be postponed.
To win outright, a candidate needed to secure 50% of the vote, which wasn't considered likely in such a large field. On Sunday night, as the votes were being counted, the front-runner was actor Jimmy Morales of the conservative National Convergence Front party. He pulled ahead in the popularity polls last week but has no political experience.
He was followed by wealthy businessman Manuel Baldizon, considered a close ally of the ousted president. Baldizon is with the center-right Renewed Democratic Liberty party, better known by its acronym LIDER, meaning leader in Spanish.