Gustavo Petro will be the new president of Colombia, the first from the left in the country’s history. The Historical Pact candidate wins with more than 11,272,000 votes, representing 50.48% and a distance of more than 720,000 votes over the right-wing candidate Rodolfo Hernández. The former mayor of Bucaramanga reaches 47.26% of the votes, according to the data released with 99.6% of the tables scrutinized by the National Registry.
“Today is a holiday for the people. Let him celebrate the first popular victory. May so many sufferings be cushioned in the joy that today floods the heart of the Homeland. This victory is for God and for the People and their history. Today is the day of the streets and squares, ”Petro wrote on his social networks.RELATED
The participation of more than 58%, three points more than in the first round, is another of the data that makes this second round a historic election. More than 22,640,000 citizens out of 39,000,000 eligible went to the polls to elect their next president. The blank votes did not reach 3% with some 501,800 votes.
The new president will seek to seal a “great national agreement” and build paths of consensus towards a series of “fundamental reforms.” Among the more than one hundred proposals that make up its government programthe candidate of the Historical Pact has focused his campaign on moving from an extractivist economy to a productive economy, a change in the tax system where the richest people pay more, a new public health plan and increasing the inclusion of women in the politics.
Petro’s victory is the victory of a leader with a long political career, although he does not represent the traditional sectors of Colombian politics. His passage through Congress, where he managed to consolidate himself as a benchmark for the opposition during the conservative governments of Álvaro Uribe and Iván Duque, allowed him to set the pulse of the political debate.
Petro is an economist, he was part of the M-19 guerrilla until 1990 and was elected mayor of Bogotá in 2011. Three times a candidate for president, in 2018 he lost in the second round against Iván Duque. President Duque confirmed on his social networks that he contacted Petro to congratulate him on the victory: “We agreed to meet in the next few days to start a harmonious, institutional and transparent transition.”
In the division by region, Petro achieved good results in the Caribbean region where it won with more than 60% and in the Pacific, in the department of Cauca it was close to 80% of the votes. In Bogotá, the Historical Pact reached 58.59% of the votes, while Hernández obtained good results in the center of the country.
The defeated candidate, Rodolfo Hernández, is a populist construction businessman who represents a right wing disenchanted with Uribismo and who has based his campaign on an anti-corruption message, despite the fact that he himself is being investigated for a corruption case during his term as mayor.
Hernández thanked his electorate in a brief message posted on his social networks, where he acknowledged Petro’s victory. “Most of the citizens who voted have done so by choosing the other candidate.” Hernández confirmed that he “accepts the result”, I also wish the new president success. “I wish Dr. Gustavo Petro that he knows how to lead the country, that he is faithful to his speech against corruption and that he does not disappoint those who trusted him.”
Petro has managed to represent the mobilized sectors in the cycle of protests that began in 2019 and was reactivated in 2021 with the national strike. The newly elected president of Colombia has built a more moderate and dialogic profile in this last round of the elections to make himself visible as a reliable candidate for a majority, which allowed him to get the support of sectors of the center.
Francia Márquez has been another of the key elements in this campaign. Propelled to the position of vice president after a historic vote in the March 13 primary, Márquez is recognized for her track record as an environmental advocate, her feminist commitment, and her connection to the grassroots. “Thanks to the Colombian men and women who came out today to vote en masse with dignity, overcoming fear and with the hope of living tasty and in peace,” Márquez published on social networks.