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Gustavo Petro gets elected as Colombia’s first left-leaning president

WorldGustavo Petro gets elected as Colombia's first left-leaning president

It will be the first time in Colombia’s history that a communist will hold the presidency.

Petro galvanised voters frustrated by decades of poverty and inequality under conservative leaders, with promises to expand social programmes, tax the wealthy, and move away from an economy he has called overly reliant on fossil fuels. Petro’s victory galvanised voters frustrated by decades of poverty and inequality under conservative leaders.

His victory places the third largest nation in Latin America on a path that is fraught with great uncertainty. This comes at a time when Colombia is facing a number of challenges, including rising poverty and violence, which have caused a record number of Colombians to migrate to the United States border; high levels of deforestation in the Colombian Amazon, which is a key buffer against climate change; and a growing distrust of key democratic institutions, which has become a trend in the region.

After more than 99 percent of the votes were tabulated on Sunday evening, Mr. Petro, who is 62 years old, earned more over 50 percent of the vote. Rodolfo Hernández, a construction mogul who had galvanised the nation with a scorched-earth anti-corruption campaign, won just over 47 percent of the vote, which was just enough to defeat his opponent.

A little time after the vote, Mr. Hernández gave in to Mr. Petro’s demands and conceded.

He addressed the Colombian people, saying, “Colombians, tonight the majority of citizens have chosen the other candidate.” “As I said during the campaign, I am willing to accept the outcome of this election,” she added.

Mr. Petro ascended the podium on Sunday night accompanied by three of his children and the candidate for vice president whom he had chosen, Francia Márquez. People were seen standing on seats and holding their phones in the air inside of the stadium, which was completely filled.

He remarked, “This tale that we are writing today is a new story for Colombia, for Latin America, and for the globe.” “This story that we are creating today is a new story for the world.” “We are not going to sell out this constituency,” they said.

He made a commitment to rule with what he has termed “the politics of love,” which is centred on hope, conversation, and understanding.

According to the official estimates, little over 58 percent of Colombia’s 39 million eligible voters participated in the election and cast a ballot.

As a result of Ms. Márquez’s win, she will become the first Black person to hold the position of vice president in this nation. Ms. Márquez is a social activist and environmentalist who came from a poor background to become a notable champion for social justice.

The triumph of Mr. Petro and Ms. Márquez symbolises a growing anti-establishment sentiment that can be seen across Latin America. This sentiment has been compounded by the epidemic as well as other persistent problems, such as a dearth of opportunities.

A political scientist from Colombia named Fernando Posada claimed, “and this is very apparent,” that the whole nation is pleading for change.

Rodrigo Chaves, a former employee with the World Bank and a political outsider, was elected president of Costa Rica in April. Chaves capitalised on the broad dissatisfaction with the ruling party to win the election. In the last year, voters in Chile, Peru, and Honduras chose leftist leaders over those campaigning on the right, continuing a substantial change that has been occurring over the course of many years throughout Latin America.

As a candidate, Mr. Petro has galvanised a generation that is the most educated in the history of Colombia. On the other hand, this generation is also grappling with an inflation rate of ten percent per year, a young unemployment rate of twenty percent, and a poverty rate of forty percent. His rallies were often attended by large numbers of young people, many of whom expressed the opinion that they had been misled by decades’ worth of politicians who had made huge promises but delivered nothing.

Larry Rico, 23, a Petro voter, was interviewed at a voting location in Ciudad Bolvar, an impoverished area in Bogotá, the country’s capital city. He remarked, “We’re not pleased with the mediocrity of previous generations.”

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