Colombia’s Presidential Elections

Tomas Curcio, Staff Writer

On May 29, the Colombian presidential election will take place. On March 13, Colombia will also host its legislative elections.

This upcoming election in Colombia comes four years after the previous election in 2018, which resulted in a victory for Ivan Duque Marquez a member of the Democratic Centre Party, which is a right-wing conserative party. 

However, in 2015, the Colombian government dictated that a president cannot run again after a single term, thus not allowing Marquez to run for reelection this year. This ruling in 2015 brought back the original term limits that existed in Colombia starting in 1910, that a 2005 law had modified, allowing for a second term.

Unlike the U.S., Colombia has multiple political parties, which results in a necessary second round of voting in June if no president acquires over 50% of the vote. 

Senator Gustavo Petro currently leads in the early polls. A left-wing candidate, former Mayor of Bogotá and guerilla fighter, Petro finished second in the 2018 presidential election with 41% of the vote. Petro has called for cutting down on the country’s dependence on coal and oil and distribute more of corporate revenue to workers.

Despite Petro’s early lead, According to Control Risks an international political advisory organization the center-left candidate has become poised to win this upcoming election, mostly due to Marquez’s disapproval from the people, which currently resides at a high 77%. This disapproval has led to a large shift of young, right-wing voters to the left. Around 4 million citizens have crossed into the threshold of voting since the previous election.

Central Risks projects Sergo Farjado, former Mayor of Medellin, has the best chance of representing both the center-left candidates, and going on to win the presidency. If Farjado decides not to run, then Alejandro Gaviria an economist would take his spot. Central Risks also predicts the right-wing of the country to use Venezuela’s current situation as a scapegoat of the consequences of leftist politics.

Colombia may find itself in an important election that can sway the political ideology of the country in a new direction. There has never before been a leftist president, and as such, this election may change history.