Left largely on top of presidential election, ‘victory day’ tarnished by populist millionaire qualification – Liberation

Leftist candidate Gustavo Petro, 62, won the first round on Sunday with ease. He will be opposed in the second round by Rodolfo Hernandez, a millionaire who presents himself as an outsider in the fight against corruption.

It is the first time in Colombia’s history that the left has achieved such a number in the first round of a presidential election. On Sunday, candidate Gustavo Petro, 62, won 40.34% of the vote. But the second round is far from certain. To the surprise, his opponent, Rodolfo Hernandez, a populist millionaire who presents himself as a corruption-fighting outsider, received 28.1% of the vote. In the second round, he should benefit from deferring the votes of traditional right-wing candidate Federico Gutierrez, who came in third place with 23.7% of the vote. He explained that he quickly admitted defeat “Gustavo Petro represents a danger to democracy, freedoms, the economy, our families and our children” He declared his direct support for Rodolfo Hernandez.

So Colombians will have to choose on June 19 between two candidates who both campaigned on the topic of change and the fight against corruption, but which are opposites of one another. Gustavo Petro, ex-combatant, ex-mayor of Bogotá, deputy and senator, opposed the ruling political class for thirty years. He denounced all its alliances, whether with paramilitary forces or drug dealers. He has real political standing, proposing social and progressive reforms even if he is hated by some Colombians for whom the left represents an intrinsic danger.

“It’s about building a front.”

Rodolfo Hernandez, a sort of Colombian Donald Trump, made a fortune selling social housing on credit — without going through the banks. Browsing the “everything is rotten” thread, he went from 9.6% of voting intentions in April to more than 28% of the vote… by primarily campaigning on TikTok and not participating in any of the televised debates in the past week before the election. He basically suggests putting all the spoilers in jail and rewarding those who denounce them with 20% refunds or closing consulates and embassies to save money.

We also heard him explain that if in 2016 he said on the radio that he was a fan For a great German thinker like Hitler, In fact, it was a slip… not to mention the insults and insults that he does not hesitate to release. To celebrate his qualification, Rodolfo Hernandez posted a video to his Facebook account of his luxury property in Bucaramanga in which he claims his score is a defeat. “Policy” Based on “Those who thought they would rule forever.”

position as a candidate “does not depend on” Will it last the remaining three weeks before the second round knowing that Federico Gutierrez, who represents the continuation of the current Evan Duque government and the policy of former President Alvaro Uribe, immediately gave him his support? All polls conducted before the first round showed that Gustavo Petro would easily have defeated Federico Gutierrez in the second round, but not Rodolfo Hernandez.

“A decisive moment”

At Hotel Tequendama in central Bogota, seat of the historic Charter, an alliance led by Gustavo Pietro, victory had a somewhat bitter taste on Sunday evening. “We won, today is a victory day”, Go on stage. But everyone’s joy seemed a little forced. “It’s about building a front, seeing what we’re going to do with Colombia, what the community wants to do with their country. What will that change consist of? He chased after the winner in the first round.

“I am afraid, She was captured shortly before by Juan Diego, a 26-year-old student. We will have to seek the votes of those who did not vote. But I’m disappointed with electoral politics, it’s always the same system that wins in the end. The turnout is close to 54%, which is very high in Colombia where abstention is still very high.

“This is a crucial moment for the popular movement, but there are mistakes in the campaign,” he said. For his part Mauricio points out, thinking that perhaps it was necessary to strive The electorate of the poor And not necessarily make a lot of alliances with politicians from the traditional parties. But “there is hope”, He wants to impress 31-year-old activist Carlos.

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