Sandra Torres de Colom, Guatemala first lady, divorces for presidency


Guatemala's first lady Sandra Torres de Colom speaks during a press conference in Guatemala City on March 24, 2011.


Johan Ordonez

Guatemala's first lady, Sandra Torres de Colom, confirmed Thursday that she will divorce her husband in order to succeed him as president.

A Guatemalan law blocks the president's relatives from taking power.

"I am getting a divorce from my husband, but I am getting married to the people," Torres, 51, said at a news conference, reports Reuters. "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."

Torres is the third wife of President Alvaro Colom.

She said the decision to divorce her husband of eight years and live apart according to the agreement has been "very difficult."

Colom, 59, said the divorce is a "real sacrifice" for the nation.

The couple filed for divorce on March 11, but the news was made public this week.

Former Gen Otto Perez Molina, who will be the main opposition candidate in the upcoming election, called the divorce an act of electoral fraud, BBC reports.

Torres has played an active role in her husband's presidency and critics say she has even more power than her husband behind the scenes, it states.