Source: Colombia Informa / The Dawn News / May 29, 2018
In the first round of the Colombian presidential elections, Ivan Duque (Democratic Centre) won 39.14% of the votes and Gustavo Petro (Colombia Humana) won 25.09% of the votes. The results of rest of the candidates are: Sergio Fajardo with 23.74%; Germán Vargas Lleras with 7.27%; Humberto de la Calle with 2.06%; Jorge Antonio Trujillo with 0.39 % and blank ballots/votes with 0.31%. The second round of elections will happen on June 17 and in that election the ultra-right vision for the country and of the progressive vision for the country will face each other.
Ivan Duque of the Democratic Centre party is the protégé of former president Alvaro Uribe and represents the sectors of the Colombian politics that vehemently opposed the peace process with the FARC and campaigned for the ‘No’ during the referendum on the Havana peace agreements between the FARC and the Colombian Government. His mentor Uribe is responsible for the disappearance of at least 20,000 people and thousands of extrajudicial executions; his 8-year presidency was marked by campaigns of terror against human rights defenders and social movements.
While Gustavo Petro of the Colombia Humana alliance is an ex-guerrilla fighter and has pledged to radically change the land holding system in Colombia, as well as in the economic system to move away from the extractivist model and towards a model of agricultural productivity. He also has discussed reforms in the public health and education systems and is a staunch defender of the peace processes and the political solutions to the armed conflict. The right-wing has accused him of wanting to convert Colombia into a second Cuba or Venezuela.
These were first presidential elections without armed confrontations thanks to the disarmament of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army and to the unilateral ceasefire ordered by the National Liberation Army, only 53.33% of the eligible voters voted.
Although this time the abstention reduced with 19,503,704 voting out of 36,782,940 eligible voters, the majorities are still unconvinced by the projects presented for the country. It is also interesting that although the candidate Viviane Morales withdrew from the elections a few days ago, she received 0.21% votes.
The great victory of the day is that the fight for second place in the next round was fought between Gustavo Petro and Sergio Fajardo, which denies the predictions that only the right and ultra right would have a presidential possibility.
Although dissimilar frauds were reported through the citizen networks enabled by Colombia Informa, the National Civil Registry reports that they were very calm elections. It should be noted that this entity (National Civil Registry) was under investigation for allegations of possible fraud in its procedures.
It is equally important to note the tragic event of the assassination of Gabriel Muñoz, one of the leaders of the Colombia Humana, on Saturday night. Peasant leader Muñoz was going to serve as a witness for this electoral coalition on the day of voting.
Ángela María Robledo, the vice-president candidate of Gustavo Petro with Colombia Humana, said on national television that they received the news of passing to the second round “with great joy and serenity. We did our campaign in democracy. We celebrate the second opportunity and call on unity.” She also announced that tomorrow they would be announcing the alliances for this battle.
It seems that in Colombia on June 17th, the fight for the construction of the country will be between good and bad.