Guatemala’s First Lady Divorces Husband to Run for President

Now here’s something that doesn’t happen everyday.

Guatemala’s first lady Sandra Torres has divorced President Alvaro Colom in what is believed to be a bid to circumvent a constitutional provision that prohibits members of a president’s family from seeking public office. Torres, considered one of the silent but powerful politicians behind her now ex-husband’s National Union of Hope (UNE) party, said in a press conference that she made the difficult decision to divorce Colom in order to help her country. “I am not going to be the first or the last woman who decides to get a divorce, but I am the only woman to get a divorce for her country,” she said.

Torres and Colom reportedly filed for divorce on March 11, but made their decision public only this week. “I am getting a divorce from my husband, but I am getting married to the people,” said Torres, who was nominated by the UNE as its presidential candidate for the September elections earlier this month.

Guatemala’s Constitutional Court is expected to rule on Torres’ eligibility in the coming days or months, although opposition parties have already condemned the first couple’s move, with the right-wing Patriot Party calling the divorce an “electoral fraud.”