Politics, Americas

Colombian presidential elections remain tight between leftist and populist

Left-wing Gustavo Petro and outsider candidate Rodolfo Hernandez are in a dead heat in Sunday’s runoff

Laura Gamba   | 18.06.2022
Colombian presidential elections remain tight between leftist and populist

BOGOTA, Colombia 

Colombians will elect their next president on Sunday in a historic election that will change the country's political course.

Two anti-establishment candidates, both of whom tout change, are competing for votes that will have the winner lead the country for the next four years.

In the runoff election on Sunday, leftist Gustavo Petro will face independent candidate Rodolfo Hernandez, after the two were pitted against each other in a long and divisive campaign.

Former rebel group member Petro, 62, has focused on tackling inequality, hunger, and poverty, promising to redistribute the country’s pension system and end the extraction of oil, the country's biggest export.

His arrival to power would bring about a change in politics, as it would mean that for the first time in history, a left-wing leader would govern the country.

Petro has been criticized for advocating a new way of doing politics while reaching agreements with traditional politicians.

Businessman Hernandez, 77, has promised to end corruption, provide drug addicts with free narcotics, and fully implement the 2016 peace deal with FARC guerrillas. People expect him to bring change to the political establishment, although his government program is vague.

Despite being the anti-corruption champion, Hernandez is accused of improperly awarding contracts while he was the mayor of Bucaramanga, from which his son benefited financially.

Since winning in the first round on May 29, Petro has been trying to get the votes of the undecided by appealing to women and the younger population.

Hernandez, who has drawn comparisons with former US President Donald Trump, has been securing votes where he has built his prominence: TikTok and YouTube. He has repeatedly refused to attend debates despite the insistence of his contender.

Although Petro obtained 40% of the votes against 28% for Hernandez in the first electoral round, Hernandez intends to capture a majority of votes from the candidates who lagged behind in May.

While Petro's campaign has insisted on the risk of electoral fraud, the Colombian electoral authority and international observers have said the population can trust the results.

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.
Related topics
Bu haberi paylaşın