Former rebel wins Colombia’s presidential election

Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla motion has gained Colombia’s presidency.

He will change into the nation’s first ever left-wing president and has vowed profound social and financial change.

Mr Petro beat development magnate Rodolfo Hernandez with an unexpectedly huge margin of some 720,000 votes. The two had been technically tied in polling forward of the vote.

Mr Petro, a former mayor of the capital metropolis Bogota and present senator, has pledged to combat inequality with free college training, pension reforms and excessive taxes on unproductive land. He gained with 50.5% of the vote to Mr Hernandez’s 47.3%.

Mr Petro’s proposals – particularly a ban on new oil initiatives – have startled some buyers, although he has promised to respect present contracts.

His victory was prone to trigger market jitters till his cupboard is introduced, analysts informed Reuters.

Mr Petro will succeed the deeply unpopular conservative Ivan Duque, who was barred by Colombia’s structure from standing for reelection.

Supporter Alejandro Forero, 40, who makes use of a wheelchair, cried as outcomes rolled in on the Petro marketing campaign celebration in Bogota.

“Finally, thank God. I do know he will likely be a very good president and he’ll assist these of us who’re least privileged.

“This is going to change for the better,” mentioned Mr Forero.

Some folks had been dancing on the street close to Bogota’s largest polling place, regardless of ongoing rain.

Gustavo Petro and operating mate Francia Marquez (picture by way of Getty)

This marketing campaign was Mr Petro’s third presidential bid and his victory provides Colombia to an inventory of Latin American international locations which have elected progressives lately.

A fragmented congress, the place a dozen events have seats, will act as a verify on Mr Petro’s proposals, mentioned Daniela Cuellar of FTI Consulting.

“Colombia’s institutional strength and rule of law appear sufficiently robust for the country to maintain economic stability,” mentioned Cuellar.

“Moreover, campaigning is not governing, Mr Petro’s policies will be more moderate.”

“Even if he tries to pass radical reforms, he does not have the congressional support to implement them,” she added.

Mr Petro, 62, mentioned he was tortured by the navy when he was detained for his involvement with the guerrillas, and his potential victory had high-ranking armed forces officers bracing for change.

Mr Petro’s operating mate Francia Marquez, a single mom and former housekeeper, would be the nation’s first Afro-Colombian girl vice-president.

“Today I’m voting for my daughter – she turned 15 two weeks ago and asked for just one gift: that I vote for Mr Petro,” mentioned safety guard Pedro Vargas.

“I hope this man fulfils the hopes of my daughter, she has a lot of faith in his promises,” added Vargas, who mentioned he by no means votes.

Petro has additionally pledged to completely implement a 2016 peace take care of FARC rebels and search talks with the still-active ELN guerrillas.

Mr Petro had raised doubts concerning the integrity of the depend after irregularities in congressional tallies in March and earlier yesterday urged voters to verify their ballots for any extraneous marks which might invalidate them.

Mr Hernandez, who served as mayor of Bucaramanga, was a shock contender within the run-off and ran on anti-corruption guarantees though he himself is beneath investigation. He has denied wrongdoing.

Mr Hernandez, who refers to himself because the ‘king of TikTok’, ran a marketing campaign centered on social media, repeatedly cancelling interviews and barely showing in public within the 10 days previous to the vote.

He conceded defeat in a brief video on social media.

“As I said during the campaign, I accept the results of this election,” Mr Hernandez mentioned, including he hopes Mr Petro will likely be loyal to anti-corruption guarantees.

Some 22.6 million folks voted, about 1.2 million greater than within the first spherical. Some 2.3% of voters turned in protest votes, backing neither candidate.

Market jitters

Analysts have mentioned the proposed halt to grease improvement might ship funding elsewhere at a time when Colombia is scuffling with low credit score scores, a big commerce deficit and nationwide debt which has doubled to 72% of GDP during the last decade.

Oil accounts for almost half of exports and near 10% of nationwide revenue, however Mr Petro argues new initiatives ought to be barred for environmental causes and to maneuver Colombia away from dependence on the trade.

Mr Petro has additionally promised to extend taxes and royalties on extractive industries and cost main landholders of unproductive land, elevating some €4.9 billion.

He additionally proposes to lift as much as €3.7 billion by progressively taxing corporations.

“We think on Tuesday both interest rates on TES bonds and the exchange rate will depreciate, but we need to see what typeof rhetoric Petro gives us, what type of cabinet he’ll give us,” mentioned Sergio Olarte, head economist for Colombia at Scotiabank.

based mostly on web site supplies www.rte.ie

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