February 2, 2023

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Leaning to the left for the first time in Colombia has elected a president

Hand in hand with a senator and former guerrilla, left Colombia He is set to win the first round of the presidential election this Sunday, driven by the erosion of entitlement to power and the social unrest that has erupted into a massive wave of opposition.

Candidate Gustavo Pedro62, widely dominates voting intentions in his third attempt to win the presidency, but all point out that he was not different enough to avoid the June 19 vote.

Federico Guterres (47) and Rodolfo Hernandez (77), The first candidate for the right-wing coalition and associated with the ruling party; The second millionaire foreigner, according to opinion polls, emerges as his rival in the second round.

If expectations are met, the Left will reach its best electoral outcome in a country of 50 million people, historically ruled by the elite and plagued by drug trafficking and increasing violence, despite the dissolution of the 2016 peace agreement. FARC guerrilla.

Pedro, who laid down his arms in 1990 after the mobilization of the M-19 nationalist rebel group of which he was a member, reveals the divisions. “There are actually two options: one is to keep things that way. Colombia Change it, “he promises.

Commenting on the outcome of this polarized campaign, Guttierez linked himself to the desire for reforms: “I am going to summon all departments, so we are changing. Colombia Because it needs a change, but that change must be safe.

“Over the past four years, levels of inequality and poverty, dissent and discontent have deepened, and Pedro has been able to read, interpret and connect with voters,” education researcher Daniel Garcia-Pina told AFP.

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Thus, the radical change proposed by Pedro, the moderate one proposed by Guterres or the alternative to Hernandez, is defined as the choice he wants to put an end to the corruption he sees everywhere. All three have been mayors Bogota, Madeleine and BukaramangaRespectively.

According to opinion polls, the race was completed by three candidates, including centrist Sergio Fazardo.

None of the favorites defended the conservative administration Evan DukeVery unpopular due to the economic management of the epidemic that faced massive protests by young people who were severely oppressed by the general army in 2019 and 2021.

Transparency in question

About 39 million Colombians are invited to vote voluntarily between 1:00 pm and 9:00 pm GMT.

Historical agreement, led coalition Pedro and Francia MarquezThe glamorous Afro leader, who wants to run for vice-president, has been coming in to get the best results for the left in some assembly elections, even though he has not won a majority.

The organization that organized the vote was called into question by the discrepancies in the preliminary turnout of those elections, which subtracted votes from Pedro’s movement. Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya.

His skepticism about the transparency of the process further fueled the tension of this campaign, which took place amidst numerous discussions and concerns for the safety of the candidates.

Both Pedro and Guterres denounced the threats, after which they strengthened their defenses. The Left, in particular, had to defend itself with bulletproof vests and shields to take the stage for fear of an assassination similar to the one in which five presidential candidates were assassinated in the 20th century.

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Pedro’s possible promotion caused the military’s extraordinary intervention in politics, and the constitution barred them from voting and debating.

But there is not only tension in the military. Upper-class traders and conservatives fear that Pedro will plunge the country into the abyss with its plan to suspend oil exploration contracts responsible for one-third of exports ($ 13.5 billion by 2021).

The senator, who believes this way will start the transition to clean energy in the face of a climate emergency, proposes to reform the public-private pension system and remove the police from the Ministry of Defense.

Guttierez, meanwhile, is focusing on the advancement of funding groups from drug traffickers and the increasing number of murders and robberies in cities. It is also presented as a guarantee for private property threatened by Pedro’s plans.

“For the first time Colombia It is possible to elect a president who does not come from traditional politics, but Pedro “does not offer hope,” says George Restrepo, an economist at the University of Javariana.

Whoever wins, will have to deal with a country recovering from the devastation of the epidemic. Poverty reaches 39% of the population, urban unemployment 17.2% and informal 43.5%. According to Invamar, corruption and the economic situation are the main concerns of Colombians.

(AFP information)

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