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Guatemala Nobel Prize winner Menchum halts presidential campaign
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10:42, August 27, 2007

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Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu on Sunday halted her campaign for Guatemala's presidency due to a shortage of fund and poor showing in opinion polls, according to news reaching here.

"The only thing we were lacking was money and time," said congresswoman Nineth Montenegro, head of the left-leaning Together for Guatemala party which backs Menchu's presidential bid, at a rally in the Guatemala City.

Menchu, 48, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, told the same rally that the political system has produced candidates who "declare that they love the poor and reject oligarchy ... lying shamelessly because they are born with silver spoons in their mouths."

Left-winger and trained engineer Alvaro Colom and right-wing former general Otto Perez Molina are front-runners for the Sept. 9 vote.

"The system has to be changed for the population to receive access to health care, education, work and development. There can be no peace without justice in Guatemala, and no justice without democracy," she said.

Menchu added that without profound systemic change, Guatemala is unlikely to reach the millennium development goals of halving poverty and illiteracy, which were reached by world leaders at the 2000 United Nations summit.

Menchu, who aimed to be the first indigenous woman president in her nation, enjoyed the support of Bolivia's first indigenous president, Evo Morales. But analysts say she lacks a political base like that which Morales built during his years as a labor leader.

On Sept. 9, Guatemala will elect a president, vice president, 158 deputies for the national legislature and 332 municipal leaders.

Source: Xinhua



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