Home Entertainment Colombians to vote for president amid generalized discontent

Colombians to vote for president amid generalized discontent

22
0


  • FILE - Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro of the Historical Pact coalition, waves to his supporters during a campaign rally in Fusagasuga, Colombia, May 11, 2022. The latest opinion polls suggest Petro, a former rebel, could get 40% of the votes, with a 15-point lead over his closest rival. But the senator needs 50% to avoid a runoff election in June against the second-place finisher.


    FILE – Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro of the Historical Pact coalition, waves to his supporters during a campaign rally in Fusagasuga, Colombia, May 11, 2022. The latest opinion polls suggest Petro, a former rebel, could get 40% of the votes, with a 15-point lead over his closest rival. But the senator needs 50% to avoid a runoff election in June against the second-place finisher.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - Presidential candidate Federico Gutierrez of the Team Colombia coalition poses for a selfie with a supporter during a campaign rally in Chia, Colombia, Monday, May 16, 2022. Gutierrez, a former mayor of Medellin, is backed by most of Colombia's traditional parties and is running on a pro-business, economic growth platform.


    FILE – Presidential candidate Federico Gutierrez of the Team Colombia coalition poses for a selfie with a supporter during a campaign rally in Chia, Colombia, Monday, May 16, 2022. Gutierrez, a former mayor of Medellin, is backed by most of Colombia’s traditional parties and is running on a pro-business, economic growth platform.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - Presidential candidate Federico Gutierrez of the Team Colombia coalition, waves at supporters during a campaign rally in Chia, Colombia, May 16, 2022. Gutierrez, a former mayor of Medellin, is backed by most of Colombia's traditional parties and is running on a pro-business, economic growth platform.


    FILE – Presidential candidate Federico Gutierrez of the Team Colombia coalition, waves at supporters during a campaign rally in Chia, Colombia, May 16, 2022. Gutierrez, a former mayor of Medellin, is backed by most of Colombia’s traditional parties and is running on a pro-business, economic growth platform.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - Supporters of presidential candidate Gustavo Petro of the Historical Pact coalition, attend a campaign rally in Fusagasuga, Colombia, May 11, 2022. Colombians emerging from the coronavirus pandemic are heading to the polls to pick their next president on Sunday, May 29, choosing from six candidates who all promise various degrees of change amid rising inequality, inflation, violence and a discontent with the status quo.


    FILE – Supporters of presidential candidate Gustavo Petro of the Historical Pact coalition, attend a campaign rally in Fusagasuga, Colombia, May 11, 2022. Colombians emerging from the coronavirus pandemic are heading to the polls to pick their next president on Sunday, May 29, choosing from six candidates who all promise various degrees of change amid rising inequality, inflation, violence and a discontent with the status quo.
    Associated Press

  • Mounted police patrol on the outskirts of Bogota ahead of weekend presidential elections in Colombia, Friday, May 27, 2022. According to Director of the Colombian Mounted Police, Gen. Jesus Alejandro Barrera, his force will ensure security in rural areas during elections.


    Mounted police patrol on the outskirts of Bogota ahead of weekend presidential elections in Colombia, Friday, May 27, 2022. According to Director of the Colombian Mounted Police, Gen. Jesus Alejandro Barrera, his force will ensure security in rural areas during elections.
    Associated Press

  • Voting booths are set up at Corferias, the main polling station in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, May 27, 2022. Colombians go to the polls May 29 to elect a new president.


    Voting booths are set up at Corferias, the main polling station in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, May 27, 2022. Colombians go to the polls May 29 to elect a new president.
    Associated Press

  • Voting booths are set up at Corferias, the main polling station in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, May 27, 2022. Colombians emerging from the coronavirus pandemic are heading to the polls on May 29 to pick their next president, choosing from six candidates who all promise various degrees of change amid rising inequality, inflation, violence and a discontent with the status quo.


    Voting booths are set up at Corferias, the main polling station in Bogota, Colombia, Friday, May 27, 2022. Colombians emerging from the coronavirus pandemic are heading to the polls on May 29 to pick their next president, choosing from six candidates who all promise various degrees of change amid rising inequality, inflation, violence and a discontent with the status quo.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - People walk past a campaign mural of presidential candidate Rodolfo Hernandez, representing the League of Anti-Corruption Governors, in Bogota, Colombia, May 20, 2022.  Hernandez, the former mayor of Bucaramanga, rose in the final stretch of the Colombia's presidential campaign after promising to '


    FILE – People walk past a campaign mural of presidential candidate Rodolfo Hernandez, representing the League of Anti-Corruption Governors, in Bogota, Colombia, May 20, 2022. Hernandez, the former mayor of Bucaramanga, rose in the final stretch of the Colombia’s presidential campaign after promising to ‘clean’ the country of corruption and to donate his salary among other measures.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - Surrounded by bodyguards holding bulletproof shields, presidential candidate Gustavo Petro of the Historical Pact coalition speaks to his supporters during a campaign rally in Medellin, Colombia, May 20, 2022. With an emotional anti-establishment discourse and promises to boost state involvement in the economy, Petro has garnered a comfortable lead in polls as Colombia heads into the May 29 presidential election.


    FILE – Surrounded by bodyguards holding bulletproof shields, presidential candidate Gustavo Petro of the Historical Pact coalition speaks to his supporters during a campaign rally in Medellin, Colombia, May 20, 2022. With an emotional anti-establishment discourse and promises to boost state involvement in the economy, Petro has garnered a comfortable lead in polls as Colombia heads into the May 29 presidential election.
    Associated Press

  • FILE - Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro with the Historical Pact coalition, left, Federico Gutierrez, presidential candidate representing the Team Colombia coalition, second left, and Hope Coalition presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo, right, take part in a presidential debate at the El Tiempo newspaper building in Bogota, Colombia, May 23, 2022. Colombians will pick from six candidates in the May 29 election. If no one gets 50% of the votes, a runoff ballot would be held in June between the top two finishers.


    FILE – Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro with the Historical Pact coalition, left, Federico Gutierrez, presidential candidate representing the Team Colombia coalition, second left, and Hope Coalition presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo, right, take part in a presidential debate at the El Tiempo newspaper building in Bogota, Colombia, May 23, 2022. Colombians will pick from six candidates in the May 29 election. If no one gets 50% of the votes, a runoff ballot would be held in June between the top two finishers.
    Associated Press

  • BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombians emerging from the coronavirus pandemic will vote for their next president Sunday, choosing from six candidates who all promise various degrees of change amid rising inequality, inflation, violence and a discontent with the status quo.

    The ballot includes former rebel Gustavo Petro, who could become Colombia’s first leftist president Sunday if he can get the 50% of the votes needed to win in the first round. If no one gets more than half the votes a runoff between the two top vote-getters will be held.

    Pre-vote polls show Petro ahead but failing to get 50%. Behind him are a populist real estate tycoon promising monetary rewards for tips on corrupt officials and a right-wing candidate who has tried to distance himself from the widely disliked conservative current president, Iván Duque.

    This is the second presidential election since the government signed a peace agreement with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, but the divisive agreement was not a central campaign issue as matters like poverty and corruption garnered attention.

    It will be Petro’s third attempt to be the South America’s country president. He was defeated in 2018 by Duque, who is not eligible for re-election.

    His victory would usher in a new political era in a country that has always been governed by conservatives or moderates while marginalizing the left due to its perceived association with the nation’s armed conflict. He was once a rebel with the now-defunct M-19 movement and was granted amnesty after being jailed for his involvement with the group.

    He has promised to make significant adjustments to the economy, including a tax reform, as well as changes to how Colombia fights drug cartels and other armed groups. His main rival for most of the campaign has been Federico Gutiérrez, a former mayor of Medellin who is backed by most of Colombia’s traditional parties and ran on a pro-business, economic growth platform.


            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            

     

    Gutiérrez has promised to fight hunger with the extension of subsidies and public-private alliances so that 10 tons of food that go to waste each year are destined for the poorest.

    A Gallup poll conducted earlier this month showed that 75% of Colombians believe the country is heading in the wrong direction and only 27% approve of Duque. A poll last year by Gallup found 60% of those questioned were finding it hard to get by on their household income.

    The coronavirus pandemic set back the country’s anti-poverty efforts by at least a decade. Official figures showed that 39% of Colombia’s 51.6 million residents lived on less than $89 a month last year, which has a slight improvement from the 42.5% rate from 2020.

    Meanwhile, the country’s inflation reached its highest levels in two decades last month. Duque’s administration has justified April’s 9.2% rate for April by saying it is part of a global inflationary phenomenon, but the argument has not tamed people’s discontent over increasing food prices.

            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            

     

    In addition to economic challenges, Colombia’s next president will also have to face a complex security issue and corruption, which is a top concern of voters.

    The Red Cross last year concluded Colombia reached its highest level of violence in the last five years. Although the peace agreement with the FARC has been implemented, the territories and drug trafficking routes that it once controlled are in dispute between other armed groups such as the National Liberation Army, or ELN, a guerrilla founded in the 1960s, the dissidents of the FARC and the Clan del Golfo cartel.

    Duque’s successor will have to decide whether to resume peace talks with the ELN, which he suspended in 2019 after an attack killed more than 20 people.

    Aware of voters’ corruption worries, real estate tycoon Rodolfo Hernández has placed the issue at the center of his campaign. Hernández, the former mayor of Bucaramanga, surprisingly rose in the final stretch of the campaign after promising to ‘clean’ the country of corruption and to donate his salary among other measures.

    The other candidates on the ballot are Sergio Fajardo, former mayor of Medellín and candidate for the center coalition; Christian leader John Milton Rodríguez; and the conservative Enrique Gómez.

    ___

    Garcia Cano reported from Caracas, Venezuela.

            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            
            



    Previous articleInput on the 2022 Water Resources Development Act
    Next articleOh, the Place You’ll Go!