One hour after the polls closed on Sunday for the second round of Colombian presidential elections, electoral authorities announced that far-right candidate Ivan Duque won over the leftist alternative Gustavo Petro with 53,98 percent versus 41,81 percent as 100 percent of the vote was counted.
The turn out rate was about 53 percent, with a total of 19.411.268 Colombians going to the polling stations this Sunday out of the 32 million eligible voters.
Petro acknowledged the defeat on Twitter responding to Caracol Radio, after the daily paper reported that he had recognized the results. "Which defeat. Eight million Colombian men and women standing freely. No defeat here. We will not be part of the government for now."
He added in a press conference: "We are not defeated. How many governors, mayors, and mayors will come in the future? We have to work on that task. We will return to the Senate of the Republic, not to do what was done in the past; but to go from there to the country, to go through the streets and the squares of Colombia."
In the first round, Duque led with 7,5 million (39,14 percent), followed by Petro with 4,8 million (25,08 percent).
Duque declared in a press conference that his main objective was to work for Colombia's unity and fight against corruption."Our flag is going to be the frontal fight against corruption."
He was also conciliatory by stating
The runoff pitted the controversial protégé of ex-President Alvaro Uribe, Duque, against former guerilla and leftist ex-Mayor of Bogota, Petro.
One fundamental difference was that Duque seeks to throw out a current peace deal between the government and former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) members in favor of a new, less amicable one – which could involve former members of the group being jailed.
Petro, on the other hand, sought to maintain the agreement as well as phase out coal and oil dependency as well as redistribute property to the underprivileged.
Colombia is having its first elections since the 2016 peace deal was struck with the former FARC. The agreement terminated a five-decades-long conflict between the government and the group.