Gustavo Petro, the first left-wing candidate to have a chance of reaching the presidency of Colombia, won 40.33% of the votes this Sunday (29), according to results released at 9 pm, with 99% of the votes counted. The candidate of the Colombia Humana party is part of the center-left “Pacto Histórico” coalition, launched last year, and had been ranked first in the polls.
Federico “Fico” Gutiérrez, from the traditional right, who until then appeared in second place in the polls, attracted 23.91%, trailing businessman Rodolfo Hernández, 76, a right-wing populist who declares himself an “outsider” of politics and is often referred to as the “Colombian Trump” who won 28.16% of the vote.
On Sunday night, acknowledging that he would not run in the second round, Fico Gutiérrez urged his more than 5 million voters to support Hernández.
Thirty-nine million Colombians were eligible to vote this Sunday, but just over half of them went to the polls.
Voting is not mandatory in Colombia. Since the turn of the century, only half of the electorate, on average, has turned out to vote, and that turnout is gradually falling even further.
The political tension is high, as these elections take place three years after the beginning of a new period of social upheaval in the country, aggravated by the pandemic and the economic crisis, with large demonstrations and intense police repression condemned by the UN and the European Union.