Colombia will see its top two presidential candidates – law-and-order conservative Iván Duque and leftist former guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro – move on to a runoff vote after Duque won Sunday’s election with 39.14 percent of the vote.
Petro received 25.08 percent of the vote, according to Colombian newspaper El Tiempo. To avoid a runoff, a presidential candidate must receive 50 percent of votes in the first round.
Duque - Democratic - Center - Party - Petro
Duque, of the conservative Democratic Center party, will face off against Petro, running independently under the Petro for President Coalition/Human Colombia, on July 17.
El Tiempo notes that Sunday’s election turnout was historic: nearly 20 million people voted, nearly four million more than the record 16 million in 2014. Almost as many people voted for Duque as the number that voted for any other candidate except Duque and Petro: 7.6 million votes for Duque and 7.2 million votes for the non-Duque and Petro candidates. Duque and Petro must now campaign for those 7.2 million votes when only 2.7 million votes divided them in the first round, turning the runoff vote into a toss-up.
Colombians - Election - Election - Country - History
More Colombians voted in this election than any election in the country’s history. Percentage-wise, turnout was at 54 percent, the highest since 1974.
Geographically, Duque significantly overwhelmed Petro. Duque won the Colombian heartland, while Petro cemented the popularity of leftist parties in the country’s coastal and urban areas. While Duque and Petro represented the far right and far left respectively, the establishment liberal and conservative parties failed dramatically to attract voters:
El - Tiempo - Rise - Center - Party
El Tiempo notes that the rise of Democratic Center, a party led by popular former president and Sen. Álvaro Uribe, and the leftist Petro coalition signal the almost complete demise of the establishment Liberal and Conservative Parties, which “controlled power for over 150 years until about two decades ago.”
Petro’s victory also comes in light...
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