© Reuters. FILE Photograph: A banner with the graphic of Colombian centre-correct presidential prospect Rodolfo Hernandez is pictured the working day right 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 following president, selecting among a leftist former guerrilla who is pushing profound social transform and an eccentric development magnate who has promised to fight corruption.
Candidates Gustavo Petro, as soon as a member of the M-19 rebels, and Rodolfo Hernandez, who to start with collected assistance by way of TikTok movies, are technically tied in polling.
Petro, a former mayor of money Bogota and existing senator, has pledged to combat inequality with absolutely free college training, pension reforms and superior taxes on unproductive land.
His proposals – in particular a ban on new oil projects – have startled some investors, even though he has promised to respect recent contracts.
“We’re a single action from accomplishing the actual transform we have waited for all our life,” Petro wrote on Twitter (NYSE:). “There are no doubts, only certainty. We are likely to make historical past.”
Petro, who is generating his third presidential bid, would be Colombia’s 1st leftist president, adding the Andean country to a checklist of Latin American international locations which have elected progressives in modern a long time.
Petro, 62, mentioned he was tortured by the military when he was detained for his involvement with the guerrillas and his potential victory has significant-ranking armed forces officers bracing for adjust.
Hernandez, who served as mayor of Bucaramanga, was a surprise contender in the operate-off and has promised to shrink governing administration and to finance social applications by halting corruption.
He has also pledged to present totally free narcotics to addicts in an effort to combat drug trafficking.
Even with his anti-graft rhetoric, Hernandez is underneath a corruption investigation himself about allegations he intervened in a trash administration tender to advantage a enterprise his son lobbied for. He has denied wrongdoing.
Hernandez – like Petro – has pledged to entirely carry out a 2016 peace deal with FARC rebels and seek talks with the nonetheless-active ELN guerrillas, even although he accuses that group of kidnapping and murdering his daughter Juliana in 2004.
The ELN has denied any involvement and her entire body has hardly ever been identified.
“The election is very simple. Vote for someone who is managed by the very same individuals as normally or vote for me, who is just not controlled by any person,” said the 77-year-old, who has eschewed classic campaigning in favor of submitting whimsical social media video clips.
Hernandez has pledged to regard the success, although Petro has lifted uncertainties about the integrity of electoral officers.
Both of those adult men have canceled campaign situations simply because of what they mentioned were being threats to their life.
Whoever wins, Colombia will inaugurate its initially Black woman vice-president in August – Petro’s running mate Francia Marquez and Hernandez’s 2nd-in-command Marelen Castillo are the two Afro-Colombian.
Colombia’s law enforcement mentioned this 7 days they are on greatest alert just after detecting designs by radical teams to commit acts of violence related to the vote.
Some 39 million Colombians are eligible to cast ballots.
Just below 55% of them turned out for the initial round – which, like the second, is taking location above a holiday weekend.