By Sofia Menchu and Diego Oré
(Reuters) - Polls suggest three Guatemalan presidential hopefuls lead the field to make it through Sunday's election to a second round run-off in August.
All have previously run for president, and they come from across the political spectrum:
Early pace-setter Torres, 67, is a former first lady of Guatemala making her third bid for president.
A polarizing figure, the center-left contender has promised to remove VAT tax from essential goods, grant loans to young entrepreneurs, lower electricity rates and cut medicine prices in half.
Born and raised in the impoverished municipality of Melchor de Mencos, close to the Belize border, Torres later worked as an English teacher before specializing in public policy.
She began her political life in 2003 when she founded the National Unity of Hope (UNE) party with her then-husband, the late Alvaro Colom.
Colom went on to win the presidency in 2007 and Torres shot to prominence as first lady, overseeing social programs, for which she still enjoys broad support in rural areas.
In 2011, she divorced Colom in an attempt to run for the presidency, but was constitutionally barred.
She competed for the top job in 2015 and in 2019, finishing second both times. But UNE remained a political force.
In 2019, she was accused by the U.N.-backed International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) of campaign finance irregularities and illicit association, spending four months in prison. In November 2022, the case was closed for lack of evidence.
Just a month ago, many polls suggested the 72-year-old former diplomat was unlikely to make the run-off. But since businessman Carlos Pineda was removed from the ballot, polls have put Mulet in second place.
As part of a new center-right party, Cabal, Mulet has promised a monthly stipend of $64 to the elderly, free medicine and to fight extortion by gangs.
Born in Guatemala in 1951, he spent part of his childhood between Canada, the U.S. and Switzerland due to his father's work as a diplomat.
In 1982 he co-founded the centrist National Renewal Party (PNR), beginning an ascent through Congress to become leader of the house between 1992 and 1993.
He then embarked on a diplomatic career as Guatemala's ambassador to the U.S. Later he was representative to the European Union and spent a decade at the United Nations.
Returning to Guatemala, he ran in the 2019 presidential election, finishing third.
At the time, he was opposed to legalizing same-sex marriage and the right to abortion.
When Zury Rios was 14, a group of army officers staged a coup, putting her father, Efrain Rios Montt, in power from 1982-1983, during which he led one of Central America's harshest military dictatorships.
In 2013 he was found guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity. The conviction was quickly annulled, and he died in 2018 awaiting retrial.
Zury Rios began her political life aged 21 in the far-right Guatemalan Republican Front (FRG) founded by her father. From 1995 to 2012 she was elected to four consecutive terms in Congress.
Rios, 55, accompanied her father to all his trial hearings and calls him her "inspiration," insisting he was innocent.
Rios ran for president in 2015 and came fifth. She tried to run again in 2019 but was blocked by a constitutional clause.
She has promised to implement a hardline security strategy akin to that of Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele.
Rios has also proposed that income tax be channeled directly toward public works like hospitals, and that people convicted of corruption be barred from holding public office.
(Reporting by Sofia Menchu in in Guatemala City and Diego Oré in Mexico City, Writing by Isabel Woodford; Editing by Daniel Wallis)