Left-wing candidate and former guerrilla Gustavo Petro wins Colombian presidential race
Gustavo Petro will be Colombia’s first leftist leader. He won the country’s presidential race on Sunday by a slim margin with over 50% of the votes against 77-year-old entrepreneur Rodolfo Hernandez. Petro’s running mate, Francia Marquez, will be the first Afro-Colombina to hold an executive office.
In his victory speech, Petro said he was open to communication with Hernandez and called for a national agreement to end violence in the country. Both candidates had run on promises of change from the current president’s platforms. Petro had previously run for president in 2010 and 2018 and failed, showing the country’s hesitance to elect someone who was once seen as a radical left-wing outsider. Colombia’s worsening socioeconomic situation and living conditions may have caused Petro’s increase in support. Petro’s party was already the largest bloc in the Senate prior to the presidential election, however, they do not have a majority of seats.