By Daniel Salgar Antolinez
Colombia is heading for a run-off in the presidential election after no candidate managed to claim 50 percent of the vote.
Conservative Ivan Duque and left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro received the most votes during Sunday´s election and will move on to the second round this coming June 17.
Duque, the candidate from the Democratic Center party, headed by former President Alvaro Uribe, received 39.11 percent of the vote -- a total of 7,539,930 million ballots -- with 99.46 percent counted.
Petro, of the Colombia Humana Movement, claimed 25.10 percent of the vote -- 4,838,639 ballots.
The peace agreement reached between the government of current President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerrillas in November 2016 is a major point of contention between the two candidates.
Duque has been critical of the deal, saying FARC leaders should serve jail sentences and lose all the benefits obtained under the Special Justice for Peace legislation.
During the presidential debates, Duque vowed that he would “not allow Colombia to become like Venezuela”, a country suffering from a deep economic crisis.
To date, the only important political post that Duque has occupied was that of senator, after winning a seat in 2014.
Gustavo Petro Urrego, a former militant of the April 19th guerrilla movement (M-19), took up arms against the state during his youth but later returned to civilian life thanks to a government-sponsored amnesty.
He then became a congressman -- elected four times -- and mayor of the capital Bogota between 2012 and 2015.
He has been criticized by his opponents for his social justice policies which many link with those currently in place in Venezuela.
*Ahmed Fawzi Mostefai contributed to this report