Colombians head to polls in tightest election in recent memory By Reuters
© Reuters. FILE Image: A banner with the picture of Colombian centre-suitable presidential prospect Rodolfo Hernandez is pictured the working day before the next round of presidential election in Lebrija, Colombia June 18, 2022. REUTERS/Santiago Arcos
By Nelson Bocanegra
BOGOTA/BUCARAMANGA (Reuters) – Colombians will head to the polls on Sunday to elect their up coming president, picking out in between a leftist former guerrilla who is pushing profound social change and an eccentric design magnate who has promised to combat corruption.
Candidates Gustavo Petro, at the time a member of the M-19 rebels, and Rodolfo Hernandez, who initially gathered help as a result of TikTok films, are technically tied in polling.
Petro, a previous mayor of funds Bogota and latest senator, has pledged to battle inequality with absolutely free university instruction, pension reforms and high taxes on unproductive land.
His proposals – especially a ban on new oil projects – have startled some investors, while he has promised to respect latest contracts.
“We’re a single phase from achieving the genuine improve we have waited for all our lives,” Petro wrote on Twitter (NYSE:). “There are no uncertainties, only certainty. We are heading to make background.”
Petro, who is creating his third presidential bid, would be Colombia’s initially leftist president, introducing the Andean country to a record of Latin American nations around the world which have elected progressives in latest many years.
Petro, 62, reported he was tortured by the army when he was detained for his involvement with the guerrillas and his prospective victory has higher-rating armed forces officials bracing for improve.
Hernandez, who served as mayor of Bucaramanga, was a surprise contender in the run-off and has promised to shrink government and to finance social courses by halting corruption.
He has also pledged to present free narcotics to addicts in an energy to combat drug trafficking.
Regardless of his anti-graft rhetoric, Hernandez is below a corruption investigation himself above allegations he intervened in a trash management tender to benefit a enterprise his son lobbied for. He has denied wrongdoing.
Hernandez – like Petro – has pledged to absolutely put into practice a 2016 peace deal with FARC rebels and seek out talks with the nonetheless-lively ELN guerrillas, even while he accuses that team of kidnapping and murdering his daughter Juliana in 2004.
The ELN has denied any involvement and her body has under no circumstances been observed.
“The election is simple. Vote for somebody who is managed by the similar people today as always or vote for me, who isn’t controlled by any person,” stated the 77-year-aged, who has eschewed classic campaigning in favor of posting whimsical social media video clips.
Hernandez has pledged to respect the effects, when Petro has lifted uncertainties about the integrity of electoral officials.
The two gentlemen have canceled campaign gatherings simply because of what they mentioned were threats to their lives.
Whoever wins, Colombia will inaugurate its very first Black lady vice-president in August – Petro’s working mate Francia Marquez and Hernandez’s next-in-command Marelen Castillo are both Afro-Colombian.
Colombia’s police claimed this week they are on maximum notify after detecting designs by radical groups to dedicate functions of violence related to the vote.
Some 39 million Colombians are suitable to forged ballots.
Just less than 55% of them turned out for the initially spherical – which, like the second, is taking area over a holiday weekend.