Gustavo Petro becomes Columbia’s first leftist president in slim election win – National

Former insurgent Gustavo Petro narrowly gained a runoff election over a political outsider millionaire Sunday, ushering in a brand new period of politics for Colombia by changing into the nation’s first leftist president.

Petro, a senator in his third try to win the presidency, had 50.47% of the votes, whereas actual property magnate Rodolfo Hernandez had 47.27%, with virtually all ballots counted, in keeping with outcomes launched by election authorities.

Petro will likely be formally declared winner after a proper depend that can take just a few days. Traditionally, the preliminary outcomes have coincided with the ultimate ones.

Petro’s victory underlined a drastic change in presidential politics for a rustic that has lengthy marginalized the left for its perceived affiliation with the armed battle.

“At the moment is a day of celebration for the individuals. Allow them to have a good time the primary widespread victory,” Petro tweeted. “Might so many sufferings be cushioned within the pleasure that as we speak floods the guts of the Homeland.”

Story continues under commercial

At his headquarters within the capital metropolis of Bogota, a message on a display learn, “Gracias Colombia,” or “Thanks Colombia.”

Outgoing conservative President Ivan Duque congratulated Petro shortly after outcomes have been introduced, and Hernandez rapidly conceded his defeat.

“I settle for the outcome, correctly, if we wish our establishments to be agency,” Hernandez mentioned in a video on social media. “I sincerely hope that this determination is helpful for everybody.”

Polls forward of the runoff had indicated Petro and Hernandez – each former mayors – have been in a good race since they topped 4 different candidates within the preliminary Might 29 election, although neither obtained sufficient votes to win outright and headed into the runoff.

About 39 million individuals have been eligible to vote Sunday, however abstentionism has been above 40% in each presidential election since 1990.

The vote got here amid widespread discontent over rising inequality, inflation and violence _ elements that led voters within the first spherical to show their backs on the long-governing centrist and right-leaning politicians and selected two outsiders in Latin America’s third-most populated nation.

Petro, 62, was as soon as a insurgent with the now-defunct M-19 motion and was granted amnesty after being jailed for his involvement with the group.

He has proposed bold pension, tax, well being and agricultural reforms and adjustments to how Colombia fights drug cartels and different armed teams. He obtained 40% of the votes throughout final month’s election and Hernandez 28%, however the distinction rapidly narrowed as Hernandez started to draw so-called anti-Petrista voters.

Story continues under commercial

Petro’s exhibiting was the most recent leftist political victory in Latin America fueled by voters’ want for change. Chile, Peru and Honduras elected leftist presidents in 2021, and in Brazil, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is main the polls for this yr’s presidential election.

The 77-year-old Hernandez, who made his cash in actual property, is just not affiliated with any main political celebration and rejected alliances. His austere marketing campaign, waged totally on TikTok and different social media platforms, was self-financed.

His proposals have been primarily based on a struggle in opposition to corruption, which he blames for poverty and the lack of state sources that could possibly be used on social packages. He desires to cut back the scale of presidency by eliminating varied embassies and presidential workplaces, turning the presidential palace right into a museum and decreasing the usage of the president’s plane fleet.

Hernandez surged late within the first-round marketing campaign previous extra standard candidates and shocked many when he completed second. He has confronted controversies together with saying he admired Adolf Hitler earlier than apologizing and saying that he meant to consult with Albert Einstein.

Duque earlier Sunday urged Colombians to vote and belief the establishments “with full confidence within the verdict of the individuals.”

Petro had questioned election authorities throughout the marketing campaign and mentioned he would analyze after polls closed whether or not he accepts the outcomes.

After casting his poll, he referred to as on supporters to vote in giant numbers to “defeat any try at fraud” and claimed, with out exhibiting proof, that voters in some polling stations have been being given ballots beforehand marked as clean votes in an try to “cancel votes that may go for the change.”

Story continues under commercial

Silvia Otero Bahamon, a political science professor on the College of Rosario, mentioned that though each candidates are populists who “have an ideology primarily based on the division between the corrupt elite and the individuals,” every sees their struggle in opposition to the institution in a different way.

“Petro pertains to the poor, the ethnic and cultural minorities of essentially the most peripheral areas of the nation,” Otero mentioned, whereas Hernandez’s supporters “are the individuals who have been let down by politicking and corruption. It’s a looser group, which the candidate reaches straight by way of social networks.”

Polls say most Colombians imagine the nation is heading within the flawed path and disapprove of Duque, who was not eligible to hunt reelection. The pandemic set again the nation’s anti-poverty efforts by no less than a decade. Official figures present that 39% of Colombia’s lived on lower than $89 a month final yr.

The rejection of politics as standard “is a mirrored image of the truth that the individuals are fed up with the identical individuals as all the time,” mentioned Nataly Amezquita, a 26-year-old civil engineer ready to vote. “We have now to create better social change. Many individuals within the nation aren’t in one of the best situation.”

However even the 2 outsider candidates left her chilly. She mentioned she would solid a clean poll: “I don’t like both of the 2 candidates…. Neither of them looks as if a great particular person to me.”

Many citizens have been basing their determination on what they are not looking for, as an alternative of what they do need.

Story continues under commercial

“Many individuals mentioned, `I don’t care who’s standing in opposition to Petro, I’m going to vote for whomever represents the opposite candidate, no matter who that particular person is,”’ mentioned Silvana Amaya, a senior analyst with the agency Management Dangers. “That additionally works the opposite approach round. Rodolfo has been portrayed as this loopy previous man, communication genius and indulgent character (so) that some individuals say: `I don’t care who I’ve to vote for, however I don’t need him to be my president.”’

Both can have a troublesome time delivering on guarantees as neither has a majority in Congress, which is essential to finishing up reforms.

In current legislative elections, Petro’s political motion obtained 20 seats within the Senate, a plurality, however he would nonetheless should make concessions in negotiations with different events. Hernandez’s political motion solely has two representatives within the decrease home, so he would even have to hunt agreements with lawmakers, whom he has alienated by repeatedly calling “thieves.”


Garcia Cano reported from Caracas, Venezuela.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button