Outgoing Colombia president pledges 'transparent' transition to successor

Ivan Duque has set aside his political differences with newly-elected President Gustavo Petro

Laura Gamba   | 20.06.2022
Outgoing Colombia president pledges 'transparent' transition to successor Gustavo Petro, the leftist former mayor of Bogota, has been declared the winner of Colombia's presidential election in Bogota, Colombia, on June 19, 2022. ( Juancho Torres - Anadolu Agency )

BOGOTA, Colombia

Shortly after Gustavo Petro's win over his contender was confirmed on Sunday, Colombia's outgoing President Ivan Duque said he called Petro to congratulate him and made clear that there will be a harmonious transition of power.

"We agreed to meet in the coming days to initiate a harmonious, institutional and transparent transition," said conservative Duque on Monday.

Petro won 50.4% of the votes, compared with 47.3% for his opponent, Rodolfo Hernandez, a difference of about 700,000 votes. The former guerrilla member became the first leftist leader elected to head Colombia.

Duque and Petro have had marked political differences since the incumbent defeated Petro in the 2018 presidential elections.

Petro embodies the fears of many in the country who dread a raft of reforms that would affect private property and put the country's economic stability at risk.

Vice-president and Foreign Minister, Marta Lucia Ramirez, joined Duque's call and said that the results of the polls must be recognized. She assured that she hopes Petro's government will strengthen institutions, improve the quality of democracy and stimulate economic development.

While Petro's campaign had insisted on the risk of electoral fraud, saying that Colombian electoral authorities were not neutral, the government had insisted on the need to abide by the results. On Sunday no one doubted the transparency of the election results.

The government has set in motion its plan to advance the transition with the next president and the person in charge of leading this activity will be the Minister of Finance, Jose Manuel Restrepo.

As of Aug. 7, Petro will lead an impoverished country that has seen a resurgence of violence that followed the peace agreement signed in 2016 with the former FARC guerrillas.

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