BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombians voted for a brand new congress Sunday and in addition solid ballots in presidential primaries to decide on celebration candidates for the Might presidential contest, because the nation held its first elections for the reason that coronavirus pandemic started two years in the past.
As opinion polls had indicated, leftist Sen. Gustavo Petro emerged as the present chief within the race for the presidency. With simply over 90% of all votes counted, he received the first for the Historic Pact, a coalition of left-wing events, with 80% of the greater than 5 million votes solid in its main.
Group Colombia, a coalition of conservative teams, drew 3.6 million voters to its main, which was received by Federico Gutierrez, a former mayor of Medellin who has criticized some elements of the 2016 peace cope with Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.
A gaggle of centrist events referred to as the Hope Coalition received 2 million voters in its main, which was received by mathematician Sergio Fajardo, who additionally ran within the 2018 presidential election.
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The three will compete in Colombia’s presidential election Might 29 together with a number of different candidates picked beforehand by smaller events. If nobody will get 50% of the votes, a runoff poll can be held in June between the highest two finishers.
“It seems to be like candidates within the heart had been the massive losers on this election,” stated Sergio Guzman, a political threat analyst in Bogota. “They confirmed divisions through the marketing campaign and weren’t efficient at getting voters to the polls.”
Petro received greater than 4 million votes in Sunday’s main, doubling the variety of votes obtained by all 5 candidates within the heart’s main.
The senator, who belonged to a insurgent group within the Eighties, has sought to capitalize on rising frustration with Colombia’s conservative authorities, which has overseen a rise in poverty through the pandemic and final yr confronted massive protests over a tax improve plan, police violence and inequality.
Petro has promised to extend taxes on companies and huge landowners, and has recommended that if he turns into president the federal government will purchase up some land to distribute to landless peasants. He has additionally stated he would droop oil exploration initiatives and have the federal government take a better function within the financial system, together with making certain a assured annual revenue for Colombians.
“He speaks to the social wants which have risen through the pandemic, and had been mirrored within the protests,” stated Johan Caldas, a political science professor on the College of La Sabana in Bogota.
Petro’s critics contend he desires to put in a statist financial system in Colombia much like Venezuela’s. Considered one of his most outspoken critics is Gutierrez, who described Petro in a current interview as a menace to Colombia’s democracy.
“Whereas he desires to expropriate property, I defend non-public property,” Gutierrez instructed the Spanish newspaper El Pais. “Whereas he desires the central financial institution to print extra money as a manner out of poverty, I wish to strengthen the financial system.”
Petro’s Historic Pact additionally had probably the most voted for Senate record, drawing round 15% of the whole votes. However that won’t give the motion sufficient seats to have a majority in Congress.
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