Colombia: Duque calls for confidence in votes in disputed election

The current president of Colombia, Iván Duque, asked voters to “trust the institutions” of voting, this Sunday (19). The campaign for the second round of the presidential elections was marked by controversies involving candidates Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernández. The two fled debates, exchanged accusations and declared that they were threatened with death.

Duque voted as soon as the electoral colleges opened the doors for the second round at table number 1, installed in the National Capitol, in downtown Bogota. “This has to be a party of democracy with confidence in the institutions and with full confidence in the verdict of the Colombian people,” said the president.

Since the first round, three weeks ago, polls point to a technical draw this Sunday. The leftist Petro has 47,2% of the voting intentions, and the populist Hernández, 46,5%.

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)Second round reflects political changes in Colombia

The two candidates took out the main parties in the country, the Liberal, the Conservative and the Democratic Center (which was led by the former president, Álvaro Uribe) ).

Hernández was the big surprise of the elections, when he passed to the second round, even having obtained in the first polls an intention of votes of only %. Known as the “Colombian Trump”, for his career as a businessman and for his anti-system discourse, the populist candidate proposes greater state intervention in the economy, the construction of prisons in the countryside to relieve the prison system and drug control policies.

If elected, Petro will be the country’s first left-wing president. In the campaign, he promises to reduce extractive activities, even if the country’s main export is oil. He also proposes to carry out agrarian reform and raise taxes for the richest citizens.

Conflicting second round

In the last three weeks of the campaign, the candidates faced each other through controversies. Hernández even announced that he would leave the country until the second round, accusing the opposing bench of a death threat. Petro, for his part, also canceled events saying he was at risk. Even with the Court’s determination that at least one debate is mandatory, no meeting was held between the two candidates.

In addition, the leaking of videos of meetings had great repercussion in the Colombian and international press. of Petro aides debating how it would be possible to win the elections. Known as “petrovideos”, the records show participants at the meeting proposing to visit prisons to offer benefits to criminals. The advisors also proposed incorporating mayors into the campaign, which is prohibited in the country. Petro said that there is no irregularity in the records and accused the current government of the leak and spying.

Last week, the website Cambio Colombia published a video in which Hernández appears with several women in bikinis in a yacht in October last year. According to the publication, the party would have been financed by Pfizer, which had intentions of expanding the market in the country. Although not considered illegal, the video contributed to the exchange of accusations between opponents in the final stretch of the elections.

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