Colombia: Petro Wins First Round Voting, Runoff in June

Gustavo Petro, the candidate for the presidency of Colombia for the Historical Pact Coalition, greets the press after voting in Bogotá.  Photo: Confidential | EFE/Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda.

Rodolfo Hernandez finished second and will compete with Petro for the presidency in the runoff set for June 19, 2022.

By EFE / Confidencial

HAVANA TIMES – The leftist Gustavo Petro and the populist Rodolfo Hernandez were the most voted candidates in the first round of the presidential elections held Sunday in Colombia. With none of the candidates receiving a majority the stage is set for a runoff on June 19.

With 99.16% of the votes counted, Gustavo Petro, candidate of the Historical Pact, received 8,479,095 votes equivalent to 40.31%, but insufficient to win the Presidency in the first round, which was the objective this Sunday of his coalition.

His rival in three weeks will be wealthy businessman Rodolfo Hernandez, from the League of Anti-Corruption Governors and the surprise of the day, with 5,931,722 votes, representing 28.20%.

Hernandez upset the rightist Federico “Fico” Gutierrez, of Team for Colombia, second in most prelection polls, who had 5,021,229 votes representing 23.87%. Sergio Fajardo, from the Centro Esperanza coalition, obtained 884,231 votes for 4.20%.

Rodolfo Hernandez, candidate for the League of Anti-Corruption Governors party.  Photo: Confidential | EFE / Mauricio Dueñas Castañeda.

The big loser of the day was “Fico” Gutiérrez, who failed to obtain enough votes from the right that has historically governed the country.

Colombians were summoned to the polls this Sunday to elect the next president of a country that demands changes and that arrived at the polls divided between left and right options after a campaign marked by allegations of alleged fraud, attacks and espionage.

A total of 39,002,239 persons were registered to vote. The level of abstention of almost 50% is considered normal in the South American country.

If Petro, former mayor of Bogota, wins the runoff, he would lift the left to power in Colombia for the first time, a possibility that scares many due to his past as a guerrilla of the disappeared April 19 Movement (M-19), but mainly due to his ambiguity on certain political and economic issues.

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