Court: Guatemala ex-first lady can't run for pres

August 9, 2011 - 2:54 AM
Guatemala Elections

Supporters of Guatemala's former first lady Sandra Torres react after hearing about the rejection of their presidential candidate by the Contitutional Court in Guatemala City, Monday Aug. 8, 2011. Torres, who wanted to run for president, recently divorced her husband President Alvaro Colom because Guatemalan law forbids close relatives of the president from running for office. A court's decision on July 12 upheld a lower-court ruling that the presidential couple's divorce was a ruse aimed at getting around the law. Torres' last legal recourse is to appeal to the country's highest court to allow her on the Sept. 12 ballot. Guatemala's Constitutional Court is the final court of appeal. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — The constitutional court has barred Guatemala's former first lady from running for president in the upcoming Sept. 11 election.

Court president Alejandro Maldonado Aguirre says Sandra Torres, former wife of President Alvaro Colom, is forbidden because she was married to the president for most of his term.

Colom is not eligible for re-election. The constitution also forbids relatives of the president from running.

The ruling late Monday avoided the question of whether Torres committed fraud when she divorced Colom last spring after she declared herself a candidate for the ruling National Unity for Hope party

Torres appealed earlier court decisions denying her candidacy. Maldonado said the constitutional court decision is final.