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Former mayor of Medellín and “Trump of Colombia” try to avoid the left for the first time in the presidency

Next Sunday (29), Colombia will hold the first round of its presidential election with the polls pointing to the leadership of the candidate who tries to become the first left-wing president in the country’s history: Senator Gustavo Petro, former member of the M-19 guerrilla and former mayor of Bogotá.

Friend of Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chávez, but disaffected by successor Nicolás Maduro, the candidate of the Historic Pact has been leading the polls for the first round with about

% of voting intentions. If the second round is necessary, it will be in June 19.

Petro’s two closest opponents in voting intentions are from the right, Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez and Rodolfo Hernández, both in the range of 20 percentage points each.

Former mayor of Medellín, the second largest city in Colombia, “Fico” is supported by Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who resigned from his candidacy for the Democratic Center, party of the current president, Iván Duque. He does not run for reelection because Colombian electoral legislation stipulates only one presidential term.

Already Rodolfo Hernández, nicknamed the “Colombian Donald Trump” for his career as a businessman and for his virulent anti-system discourse, focused on the fight against corruption, could be the big surprise of the election. The former mayor of Bucaramanga has doubled his voting intentions since March and in a simulation for the second round held last week he appeared ahead of Petro.

This last week, the The leftist, who was accused during the espionage campaign by “Fico” and of planning a “social pardon” for those convicted of corruption (he denied both accusations), tries to get support from other parties and political currents to win the dispute in the first turn.

Petro is weighed down by distrust of his social and economic proposals, criticized in a report released by the American bank JPMorgan Chase.

If he wins, he will also have difficulties in approving projects in the Colombian Congress, since, despite the Historic Pact being the most voted party for the Senate and the second most voted for the Chamber in the legislative elections in March, subtitles from the right and center-right continue to have a majority in both houses.

“These elections will not o are similar to those of 2018, first, because the question of peace it is no longer even a matter of political dispute. The issue of ‘Venezuelanization’ [do país] is also not on the agenda,” Lariza Pizano, a political scientist at the University of the Andes, told Blu Radio in Bogotá.

“But there is a deep social concern derived from the pandemic and the impoverishment that it has brought: this issue is crucial and the candidates who knew how to tune it or emphasize it in this sense will have paved the way better [para a Casa de Nariño, residência oficial do presidente da Colômbia]”, he added.

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