Colombian voters will go to the polls on Sunday to decide whether the next president of the country will be Gustavo Petro, an economist and leftist leader, or Rodolfo Hernandez, a businessman who was once mayor of Bukaramanga.
The country has never had a left-wing president, and Petro, who led the first-round vote, is the most likely politician in this ideological spectrum to be elected.
Rodolfo Hernandez, a 77-year-old engineer, is the opponent.
Colombia election: Left-leaning Petro and billionaire Hernandez draw
The votes of the candidates in the first round were as follows.
- Gustavo Petro: 40.34%
- Rodolfo Hernandez: 28.1
Surveys indicate that both candidates have the same voting intent. Below are some projections:
Guaro & Eco Analytic Research published June 11:
- Rodolfo Hernandez: 48.2%
- Gustavo Petro: 46.5%
Invamar Research published June 10:
- Rodolfo Hernandez: 48.2%
- Gustavo Petro: 47.2%
Tracking from research firm GAD3 published on June 10:
- Rodolfo Hernandez: 47.9%
- Gustavo Petro 47.1%
Voting starts at 8am this Sunday (19) and ends at 4pm.
Petro is a former mayor of Bogota and is currently a senator. He was a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement that abandoned armed struggle in the late 1980s.
He proposed $ 13.5 billion in tax reform, equivalent to 5.5 percent of Colombia’s GDP.
He promised to improve the social and economic conditions in a country where half of the population lives in poverty of some kind.
Hernandez, a surprise run-off candidate, made anti-corruption pledges, plans to shrink the government and provide housing for the poor.
However, he is facing an investigation by the Attorney General’s Office alleging that he interfered in a waste collection tender while he was mayor of Bukharamanga to benefit a company that his son lobbied for.
Hernandez denies allegations and supporters such as his anti-establishment image.
Who is Gustavo Petro? Priyankaran is a former guerrilla for the presidency of Colombia
According to Fabio Sanchez, a professor at the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Sergio Arboleda in Bogot, the economy is one of the main themes of this year’s election, and the two are trying to differentiate themselves on the subject.
Hernandez uses the image of an entrepreneur who can use his management skills for the country. “In his program, he talks about credits and subsidies so that the country can compete in international markets,” says Arboleda.
Petro proposes a change in the eccentric model for the production economy (in addition to being an agricultural producer, Colombia exports oil and minerals). “It involves an agrarian reform that will create greater resistance in some areas,” says the professor. Central to the economic debate in the election is how to reduce poverty and improve the quality of development and industrialization.
Although Hernandez’s financial dealings are close to the right, today’s candidate cannot be classified as far-right, says Fernanda Nancy Gonzalez, a professor at UFRJ and Unilasalle-RJ.
“It’s hard to define what his political spectrum is. He’s definitely not on the left, but at the moment, it’s not fair to say he’s on the far right,” she says.
The professor says Hernandez is a different politician, though he bears a resemblance to former US President Donald Trump or Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro.
Who is Rodolfo Hernandez? The right-wing candidate is running for the Colombian presidency
“Hernandez said during the campaign that he would like to restore relations with Venezuela if elected, and that he had already stated that he was not opposed to abortion, which is an exception in an extremely religious community such as Colombia,” he said. It is important to have a peace deal and not have a clear agenda is a tactic he uses, “said Professor Gonzalez.
The similarities between Trump and Bolsonaro are politicized, she explains: the use of social networks (Hernandez makes several videos on Tic Tac Toe), direct and objective speech, and the anti-corruption agenda. , It appears in a compelling but vague form (he does not say how he intends to fight corruption).
Degeneration of urticaria
Hernandez’s candidacy does not represent a traditional right in Colombia. This area of politics is dominated by former President Alvaro Uribe. After stepping down as president, Uribe was able to elect two allies: Juan Manuel Santos (later, the two split), and the current president, Ivan Duke.
“The Duke’s government has the lowest recognition rating since the 1990s, and there are many people who oppose it, which has led to a backlash from ‘Uribistas’,” said Andre del Rio, a professor of political science at the Federal University of Fluminense. (UFF).
Even before the election, it can be said that the next President will have difficulty in the Assembly.
The Left Alliance has 30% of the legislature in Colombia, and Hernandez’s party is under-represented in Congress, Andres says. “Although the right has lost power in Congress and is divided into several parties, it is still half or less. Any president will have a lot of discussions with these parties, ”he said.
Musicaholic. Twitter guru. Total bacon fanatic. Zombie ninja. Freelance student. Coffee fan. Gamer.