Gustavo Petro, a former left-wing guerrilla, won Colombia’s presidential election on Sunday, defeating populist businessman Rodolfo Hernandez, according to an official quick count.
With 95 percent of the ballots counted, election officials said Petro had 50.7 percent against Hernandez’s 47.0 percent. Peter had an undisputed lead of about 800,000 votes.
None of the candidates commented on the figures, declared victory or accepted defeat. But if we accept that the result is confirmed, this will give Colombia the first truly left-wing government in its modern history.
Petro, a 62-year-old former mayor of Bogota who is running for his third presidential candidacy, promises a radical overhaul of the economy and nothing more than a social revolution with much higher spending on education and healthcare.
His proposals, which include bans on oil exploration, opencast mining and fracking, have angered investors who say they could halt one of Latin America’s fastest-growing economies. Colombian assets and the peso are likely to weaken after his victory.
However, he will not have a majority in Congress, which will make it difficult for him to implement his more radical proposals. His coalition, the Historical Pact, holds only 15 percent of the seats in both chambers.