Guatemalan Republican Front
Published 16th August, 2011
The Guatemalan Republican Front or FRG is a right wing party whoch was formed in 1988 as a vehicle for former authoritarian president, General Efraín Ríos Montt. It was not formally registered until 1990 but Rios Montt was banned as a candidate because of a constitutional ban on former coup leaders.
The FRG fought the 1990 election in partnership with the Institutional Democratic Party (PID) and National Unity Front (FUN) but were unsuccessful.
In 1994, however, the Guatemalan Republican Front won 33 of 80 seats in Congress, making them the largest party. In 1995 their candidate came second in the presidential election and their seat tally in Congress dropped to 21.
In 1999 their fortunes picked up; their presidential canddiate, Alfonso Antonio Portillo Cabrera won with 68.31% of the vote and the party took 63 of 113 seats in Congress. Ríos Montt became the President (Speaker) of Congress.
Rios Montt was chosen as the FRG presidential candidate for the 2003 election even though he was debarred. After civil unrest around the capital the Constitutional Court overturned the constitutional ban. It did him little good, he came third in the presidential election and the FRG took 41 seats in an enlarged 158 seat Congress.
In 2007 the party did even worse, taking just 15 seats in the 158 seat Congress with just 9.8% of the vote. Their presidential candidate came a distant fifth.