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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Colombia chooses Petro contenders for presidential

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(Bloomberg) — For months, Gustavo Petro, a former guerrilla fighter and former mayor of Bogotá, had been the talk of the town ahead of Colombia’s presidential election. The rich fear a presidency under him, while many of the poor applaud his promises to redistribute land and wealth.

Tonight, Petro will finally know who his opponents are, just two months before the presidential elections.

Colombia is holding legislative and consultations today, which will bring greater clarity about the possibility that Petro will lead a national turn to the left.

The new Congress will have 108 senators and 188 representatives in the lower house, and voters will also choose some of the candidates who will participate in the presidential elections in May.

Amid nervousness, investors are closely following the vote. The result would give them a great idea of ​​whether Petro will be the nation’s first leftist president. He wants to end oil exploration, raise import tariffs and give “productive organizations” a voice in defining monetary policy.

Polls are open from 8 am to 4 pm local time and results are expected on Sunday night. In other parts of the Andes, Chile and Peru will be eliminated in 2021.

The elections will also determine whether Petro — should he win — will be able to form the majorities in Congress that will help him put his plans into action. Furthermore, the presidential consultations taking place at the same time will give a clearer idea of ​​who will be the main contenders facing Petro in the presidential elections on May 29.

The vote comes a year after the country suffered the worst social unrest in decades. Currently, the economy is enjoying a strong recovery, but millions of Colombians still live in unemployment and food shortages, and the labor market has not recovered from the collapse of 2020 when the pandemic hit.

presidential race

In addition to congressional votes, three coalitions will hold consultations on Sunday to determine who they will endorse for president in May.

Petro, who according to polls has more than double the support of his closest rival in the presidential race, is expected to easily win the nomination for his Historic Pact coalition.

In the Centro Esperanza coalition, the mathematician and former mayor of Medellín Sergio Fajardo leads, say show the polls. He is running against former health minister Alejandro Gaviria and Juan Manuel Galán, a former senator whose father ran for president in the 1980s but was killed by drug gangs during the campaign.

A conservative group known as Equipo por Colombia is also holding consultations, with Federico Gutiérrez, the former mayor of Medellín, the favorite to win.

Investors are monitoring whether Petro’s personal popularity will translate into congressional seats for his alliance. A recent Guarumo poll suggests not: his Historic Pact would only get about 11%, while traditional movements like the Conservative Party, the Liberal Party, the ruling Democratic Center Party and the Radical Change party will get between them more than the half of Asians.

original note:

Colombia selects candidates who will compete with Petro for the presidency

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