Leftist ex-rebel Gustavo Petro wins Colombian presidency in narrow, historic election

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 per cent of the votes, whereas actual property magnate Rodolfo Hernandez had 47.27 per cent, with virtually all ballots counted, in line with outcomes launched by election authorities.

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.

“Immediately is a day of celebration for the folks. Allow them to rejoice the primary standard victory,” Petro tweeted. “Might so many sufferings be cushioned within the pleasure that as we speak floods the guts of the Homeland.”

Petro 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.

Confetti streams down at Petro’s election evening headquarters in Bogota on Sunday. (Fernando Vergara/The Related Press)

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 shortly conceded his defeat.

“I settle for the end result, correctly, if we would like our establishments to be agency,” Hernandez mentioned in a video on social media. “I sincerely hope that this resolution is helpful for everybody.”

‘Individuals are fed up’

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’s displaying was the newest leftist political victory in Latin America fuelled by voters’ need 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 12 months’s presidential election.

About 21.6 million of the 39 million eligible voters forged a poll Sunday. Abstentionism has been above 40 per cent in each presidential election since 1990.

Petro supporters rejoice in Bogota on Sunday. (Fernando Vergara/The Related Press)

Petro, 62, shall 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.

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 received sufficient votes to win outright and headed into the runoff.

Petro has proposed bold pension, tax, well being and agricultural reforms and modifications to how Colombia fights drug cartels and different armed teams.

A voter casts a poll in Bogota on Sunday. (Guillermo Legaria/Getty Photographs)

He obtained 40 per cent of the votes throughout final month’s election and Hernandez 28 per cent, however the distinction shortly narrowed as Hernandez started to draw so-called anti-Petrista voters.

Petro could have a troublesome time delivering on his guarantees as he doesn’t have a majority in Congress, which is vital to finishing up reforms. In latest legislative elections, Petro’s political motion gained 20 seats within the Senate, a plurality, however he would nonetheless should make concessions in negotiations with different events.

Hernandez, who made his cash in actual property, just isn’t 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 and based mostly totally on a struggle in opposition to corruption, which he blames for poverty and the lack of state assets that could possibly be used on social packages.

Presidential candidate Rodolfo Hernandez leaves after casting a vote at a polling station in Bucaramanga on Sunday. (Santiago Arcos/Reuters)

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.

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 not less than a decade. Official figures present that 39 per cent of Colombia’s lived on lower than $89 US a month final 12 months.

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

Folks watch a display displaying preliminary election leads to Medellin on Sunday. (Joaquin Sarmiento/AFP/Getty Photographs)

However even the 2 outsider candidates left her chilly. She mentioned she would forged a clean poll: “I do not like both of the 2 candidates…. Neither of them looks as if a very good particular person to me.”

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

“Petro pertains to the poor, the ethnic and cultural minorities of probably 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 neighborhood, which the candidate reaches immediately through social networks.”

Many citizens have been basing their resolution on what they don’t want, as a substitute of what they do need.

“Many individuals mentioned, ‘I do not care who’s standing in opposition to Petro, I’ll 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 manner round. Rodolfo has been portrayed as this loopy outdated man, communication genius and lavish character (so) that some folks say: ‘I do not care who I’ve to vote for, however I do not need him to be my president.”‘

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

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

Back to top button