Colombia | Leftist candidate Gustavo Petro was elected president

(Bogota): This is a historic vote: opponent Gustavo Petro on Sunday became the first left-wing president in Colombia’s history, with the ambition to “change” a country in crisis that has not known such a rotation.

Posted at 9:24 AM
Updated at 6:48 PM.

Hervey Bar
France media agency

“We are committed to real change, real change,” the 62-year-old senator said on the eve of his victory on a big stage in Bogota in front of hundreds of jubilant supporters.

“The government that will take power on August 7 will be the government of life, peace, social justice and environmental justice,” said the incoming head of the Colombian state, along with his family, loved ones and wife. Marquis.

Photo by Luisa Gonzalez, Archives Reuters

Elected candidate Gustavo Petro

“Respect and Dialogue”

Ex-member of a far-left guerrilla turned social democracy, the ex-mayor of Bogota, Mr. Pietro, received 50.44% of the vote, compared to 47.31% for his rival, businessman Rodolfo Hernandez, according to provisional results of the second round of presidential elections on Sunday.

With 11.2 million votes in favor, the senator beat his opponent by 700,000 votes (10.5 million), a surprise in the first round on May 29, who replaced the right-wing candidate. Participation rate is 58%.

Photo by Evan Valencia, The Associated Press

Defeated candidate Rodolfo Hernandez

Mr. Hernandez immediately conceded defeat, hoping his opponent “knows how to run the country and stick to his anti-corruption rhetoric”.

“Rodolfo Hernandez’s supporters will be able to come and talk to us whenever they want […] The opposition, whatever it may be, will always be welcome in the dialogue […] ‘, promised the future head of state.

“There will only be respect and dialogue, this is how we can build the great national agreement and comprehensive peace,” he added, also committed to having Colombia “lead the fight against climate change” around the world.

“I am the first African-American female Vice President of Colombia,” declared Ms.I Marquez, a humble villager turned environmental activist, played a large role in the campaign as the vice-candidate.

We have taken an important step. We have a government of the people, a government of people walking, a government of nothing. […] And together we will reform this nation with joy and peace,” she said, wearing her usual attire with African motifs.

This presidential election represents the defeat of conservative and liberal elites in power for two centuries in the fourth economic power of Latin America.

The first-round qualifier came out on top with subversive and “anti-establishment” rhetoric, Mr. Pietro (40%) holding the banner of defending ‘life’, while Mr. Hernandez (28%) promised to put an end to corruption, which is an endemic disease in the country.

many challenges

The fight was especially bitter between the two men, with a final campaign consisting of accusations of all kinds, misinformation and countless low blows. The latest polls, published a week ago, gave the two men roughly equal.

As in the first round, the vote was not disturbed by any major incident.

These elections took place in the context of a deep crisis in the country, after the epidemic, a severe recession, the violent suppression of anti-government demonstrations, and an increase in the violence of armed groups in the countryside.

This is the third time that Mr Pietro has run for president, and the last was in 2018.

After a hundred encounters in the country before the first round, over the past three weeks he has tried to be closer to ordinary Colombians, eager to correct his image as a man of too much talk, too authoritarian or of messianic tendencies. dispute.

Photo by Luisa Gonzalez, Archives Reuters

It will provide approximately 320,000 police and soldiers security for the elections, under the supervision of many international observers.

Mr Petro pledged to strengthen the state, reform the pension and tax system to make the paycheck richer. Its first action would be to suspend oil drilling and begin the energy transition as quickly as possible.

Sergio Guzman, Colombia’s risk analysis consultant, asserts that “a large part of the country”, which is particularly afraid of its far-left past, “does not want Petro as president”.

He would have much to do to govern with a divided Parliament, where his alliance of the historic pact is certainly the number one force but remains a regular stronghold of conservatives and liberals.

He will also have to overcome the reluctance within the army, for which he became the supreme guide, to confront inflationary pressures and weak and politicized institutions, according to this same analyst.

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