Colombians will vote again this Sunday, June 19, in the midst of great uncertainty, to elect its next president between the former mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petroa former member of the disappeared M-19 guerrilla group, demobilized as a result of a peace process in 1990, and the businessman and former mayor of Bucaramanga Rodolfo Hernandezthe great surprise of the first electoral round
The ballotage of the Colombian elections is expected to be a dramatic “head to head”, according to the results of the latest polls that could be released in the country. According to the study by the Spanish company GAD3, the winner would be Gustavo Petro, with 48.1% compared to 46.8% for Rodolfo Hernández; the Colombian companies Guarumo and Ecoanalítica give Rodolfo Hernández the winner, 48.2 against Gustavo Petro’s 46.5%, as does the study by the pollster Invamer, which casts Hernández as the winner with a slim margin of 48.2 against to 47.2% of Gustavo Petro.
Thus, with the candidates to occupy the Casa de Nariño (the Colombian presidential palace) trying to scratch every vote and after one of the most controversial electoral campaigns that the country has seen, with a profusion of false news, personal attacks, accusations of side and side and a notable absence of concrete proposals to solve the serious problems that afflict the country, a large part of Colombians will go to the polls thinking of voting against and not in favor of a candidate.
According to a recent study carried out by the Universidad del Rosario and the German foundation Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, among other entities, 48% of the citizens consulted do not feel represented by either of the two candidates for the Presidency of the Republic; however, 77% assured that they will vote next Sunday and 27% accepted that they will vote against the other candidate.
This situation has also increased the intention of blank voting, which, according to the latest electoral polls, could be between 8 and 13%, despite the fact that in this second stage it has no repercussions.
“The blank vote is not added to any candidate, it is an independent box that is counted as such. If he wins in the second round, he does not have the power to repeat the elections, for which the formula of president and vice president who has obtained the most votes will win, ”explained the electoral delegate registrar, Nicolás Farfán Namén.
Both Petro and Hernández reach the final stage offering a change and distancing themselves from the political sectors that have governed the country throughout its republican stage, Petro, on behalf of the Historical Pact, a varied coalition of leftist sectors, and Hernández on behalf of the Anti-Corruption Governors League, a movement with a loose political trend that didn’t even exist a year ago.
The victory in the first round of these two candidates, who sold themselves as outsidersis the demonstration that Colombians want a change, but they do not seem to be very clear about where, and now from both sides they assure that the other represents a danger to the future of the nation.
“There are changes that are not changes, they are suicides,” said Gustavo Petro, referring to Hernández, after triumphing in the first round; while the former Colombian vice president Francisco Santos affirmed that the left-wing candidate “is a leap into the void.” It remains to wait to see which one Colombia will choose.
In Colombia, all citizens over 18 years of age have the right to vote, it is not mandatory, although the legislation offers incentives to those who vote, such as priority for hiring in official positions or admission to public universities.
According to the Constitution, the election, in which one votes for a formula of president and vice president, is carried out in two rounds. The first day was held on the last Sunday of May, and as none of the movements managed to half plus one of the votes was called for a second round, in which only the first two compete and the winner is chosen by simple majority.
Between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm this Sunday, June 19, the voting stations will be open for Colombians to define who will occupy the Presidency and the Vice Presidency of the Republic of Colombia from next August 7 between the two formulas that occupied the first places during the first round: Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez, representatives of the so-called Historical Pact, the first leftist movement that could reach the House of Nariño in all history of the country, and Rodolfo Hernández and Marelen Castillo, of the Anti-Corruption Governors League, a movement that remains a political unknown, but has received the support of different center and right-wing forces, as well as traditional parties.
Gustavo Petro and Francia Marquez
Representing the leftist coalition known as the Historical Pact are the 62-year-old economist from Cordoba Gustavo Francisco Petro Urrego, former member of the M-19 guerrilla, who is competing for the third time to reach the Executive power in Colombia. In 2018, he came in second place, with more than 8 million votes, defeated at the polls by today’s president Iván Duque, and in the last first round he declared himself the winner with 8,542,020 votes, 40.34% of the vote.
The also director of the Colombia Humana party competes for the stay in the Casa de Nariño with his formula for the Vice Presidency, the lawyer and social leader France Elena Marquez Mina, a native of the department of Cauca and winner of the environmental award Goldman Environmental Prize. Márquez was the third most voted candidate in the internal consultations in March and that is why she was chosen to accompany Petro in her presidential race.
Rodolfo Hernandez and Marelen Castillo
The unexpected protagonist of these elections is the former mayor of Bucaramanga Rodolfo Hernandez Suarez. This 77-year-old civil engineer, a native of Piedecuesta, Santander and with a fortune estimated at around 100 million dollars, managed to go on to the ballot after surprising the country by reaching 5,965,531 votes, 28.17% of the votes
Hernández, who for analysts is unknown in terms of his political tendency (although in their campaign they claim to be from the center), their formula is Marelen Castillo Torres, a 53-year-old Catholic educator and pedagogue. Hernández and Castillo, who before the inter-party consultations were not in the calculations of political analysts, became the surprise of the first round and now star in a tight finale together with Petro and Márquez.