Some five million people participated in the primary of the left in which Petro obtained 80.5% of the votes
The left had in turn a very good performance in the legislative elections this Sunday
“Thank you Colombia for supporting the Historical Pact. Today the change begins.” Gustavo Petro did not take long to celebrate the favorable results of a primary from which he has emerged strengthened in the face of the presidential first round of May 29. Petro obtained 4,389,471 votes, which represents 80.5% of those who participated in the consultation of the left. The more than five million Colombians who participated in that primary exceed those who voted in the internal elections of the center and right forces together. Based on these figures, the former member of the urban guerrilla M-19 and former mayor of Bogotá said: “we are ad portas to win the presidency in the first round. We are going to defend a common program, a program that has to do with turning Colombia into a power of life, making the economy revolve around life.”
The Colombian left wants to join the wave of changes led by the young man from Chile Gabriel Boric. To avoid a second turn, you need to overcome the barrier of 50% of the votes. Petro does not want to trip over the same stone as 2018. Four years ago he was defeated in the ballotage for the rightist Ivan Duke. In that contest, the dolphin of Alvaro Uribe In fact, he managed to build a motley front united by horror at the arrival of a leftist in power. Petro recalled those circumstances in the Bogota night. “We do not want a Duke or two to appear in these historical times, but rather change, transformation. For this reason, we invite all the democratic forces of the country (…) the Historical Pact must advance towards the configuration of a great broad democratic front that solidly wins the national majorities”. The only ones who do not fit in that alliance are “the corrupt, the genocidal“. Petro assured that, if he reaches the Casa de Nariño, as the headquarters of the Executive is known, he will not carry out “policies based on revenge” because “here it is about multiplying ourselves.”
right and center
Federico “Fico” Gutierrez He emerged as the winner of the Conservative primary. His first intervention was a response to Petro himself. “A change cannot mean a leap into the void“. Former mayor of the city of Medellín, Gutiérrez obtained 2.1 million votes, 54.17% of those who participated in the dispute between the right-wing candidates.
“No more Dukes, no more cheating,” he claimed, for his part, Serge Fajardo, in his first and subdued speech. With 710,624 votes for him, he won the primary from the center forces. The 33.38% of the adhesions reached is, for the analysts, the indication that the “middle way” which embodies the Centro Esperanza Coalition finds it difficult to reach the May presidential elections with chances, despite the fact that a survey at the end of 2021 showed that a good part of Colombians preferred a political option that was neither to the right nor to the left of the political spectrum.
In addition to Petro, Gutiérrez and Fajardo, the presidential elections on May 29 will include the participation of Rodolfo Hernández, the former mayor of Bucaramanga, third in the polls, Ingrid Betancourt, the former captive of the FARC, and Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who represents a Uribe of fallen layers.
The relevance of these primaries was of such magnitude that it placed the legislative elections in the background. The elections were also favorable to Petro, according to the first calculations. “We are the first force in the Senate and in the House (…) The Historical Pact has achieved the best result of progressivism in the history of the Republic of Colombia,” he assured his supporters.
According to the preliminary results, the left would retain 17 seats in the Senate, against 15 for the Conservative and Liberal parties, respectively, and 14 for the Alianza Verde Coalition and Centro Esperanza and Uribismo. As for the House of Representatives, the Liberals were actually the most favored: they got 32 seats, followed by the Historical Pact and the Conservatives, both with 25 seats. The Democratic Center, the group founded by Uribe that for years arbitrated Colombian politics, barely got 15 legislators.
The resounding fall in the image of the president (73% of those consulted by Invamer Poll disapprove of his performance), especially since the social outbreak of 2021, does not seem to help the aspirations of the candidate from that ideological sector. “Will there be a right outside Uribismo?“, the portal has been asked about it the empty chair.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.