José E. Mosquera
Journalist and writer
he Democratic Centre (CD), the party of former president Álvaro Uribe, was the big loser in Sunday’s election in Colombia. In fact, 72.67% of Colombians voted against the corruption and misgovernment of the Democratic Centre, headed by President Iván Duque. It was a punishment vote against the lousy government of Duque, who exercises an unseemly, corrupt, arrogant and cynical public administration. The administrative balance of his government is disastrous, with a burden of high levels of corruption, poverty, hunger, inequality, insecurity and violence in the country.
The votes obtained by the candidates of the Historical Pact, Gustavo Petro, of the League of Anti-Corruption Governors, Rodolfo Hernández and Sergio Fajardo of the Hope Centre Alliance, totalling 15,369,562 votes, representing 72.67% of the votes cast at the polls on Sunday in Colombia, were against the corruption of the government and the political machines of the CD and the allied parties that backed the candidacy of Federico Gutiérrez.
For the second time in Colombian political history, the traditional political forces were overwhelmingly defeated. The first major defeat came in the 1970 elections, when the National People’s Alliance (Anapo), led by General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (dictator 1953-1957), defeated Misael Pastrana Borrero, candidate of the National Front.
The National Front was the political alliance of Liberal and Conservative parties that was organised to put an end to the Rojas Pinilla dictatorship in 1958. It was precisely this type of discrimination in the distribution of power that led to the birth of many of the guerrilla movements in Colombia. It was through a blatant electoral fraud that the traditional parties, led by the President of the Republic at the time, Carlos Lleras Restrepo, managed to wrest power from Anapo.
Sunday’s elections were the second time that a new political force defeated the traditional political parties in Colombia, and the protagonist was former guerrilla Gustavo Petro and his vice-presidential formula, the Afro-descendant Francia Márquez Mina; with their electoral victory they put an end to the 20 years of hegemony in power of the party of former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez.
Unquestionably, the big winner of the day was Gustavo Petro with 8,527,768 votes, equivalent to 40.32% of the total vote. Petro obtained the highest vote for a presidential candidate in the first round in the history of Colombia.
He achieved a lead of 2,574,559 votes over the runner-up, Rodolfo Hernández, an ultra-right-wing millionaire and admirer of Adolf Hitler, who obtained 5,953,209 votes, equivalent to 28%. Petro got 3,469,758 votes ahead of Gutiérrez, the ruling party candidate, who got 5,058,010 votes, equivalent to 23%. In other words, only 23% of Colombians voted for the government candidate. Now, it is interesting to examine a bit the behaviour of the electoral growth of the Colombian left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro since the 2018 elections. In the 2018 consultation, President Iván Duque won 4,038,101 votes, Martha Lucia Ramírez, the current vice-president 1,537,790 votes and Petro 2,849,331 votes.
In the first round of 2018, the results were as follows: Duque 7,569,693 votes, equivalent to 39%. Petro 4,851,254 votes, representing 25%. Duque’s lead over Petro was 2,718,439 votes. In the second round, Duque won for the presidency by 10,373,080 votes, equivalent to 53%. Petro lost with 8,034,189 votes, equivalent to 41%. Duque won by 2,338,891 votes. That is to say, Petro was unable to reduce the difference that Duque made in the first round by almost nothing. In the 2022 consultation, the Historical Pact, obtained 5,573,890 votes, of which Petro had 4,487,551 votes and Francia Márquez, his vice-president, 783,160 votes. In other words, Petro obtained 2,209,581 more votes than in the previous consultation. In this first round, Petro and Francia obtained 8,527,668 votes. That is to say, 3,676,414 votes more than Petro had obtained four years ago. In conclusion: Petro is a politician in permanent electoral growth.
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