Colombian presidential candidates Ivan Duque and Gustavo Petro have received endorsements from several major political parties as the pair seek to secure the support required to the win the second round of the election on June 17.
The Democratic Pole announced Wednesday it would support Gustavo Petro’s candidacy in the second round citing concerns over the possibility of a Duque victory.
The progressive party supported Sergio Fajardo’s candidacy in the first round but switched to supporting Petro after Fajardo finished in third place in the May 27 elections.
“The National Executive Committee officially endorses the presidential candidacy of Doctor Gustavo Petro Urrego and his vice presidential candidate, Doctor Angela Maria Robledo,” the Democratic Pole stated in an official communique after a meeting in Bogota Wednesday.
According to the statement the votes for Petro and Fajardo, which amount to 9.440.950, “represent the citizen’s majority expression to defeat the establishment’s corrupt political machinery and client-patron relations.”
Together the votes received by Petro and Fajardo exceed Duque’s by almost two million. However, political analysts expect many of Fajardo supporters to cast blank ballots.
According to the party’s leadership Duque’s candidacy “threatens democratic advances, national sovereignty, peace, social justice, human rights and civil liberties.”
Duque has opposed the Peace Accords signed in 2016 between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and has vowed to modify them substantially.
Duque has received the endorsement of Colombia’s traditional Liberal and Conservative parties, both of whom have had links with paramilitary forces within the country.
With the support of the Liberals and Conservatives, if elected Duque would have a comfortable legislative majority in both chambers of Congress.
The Liberal party’s candidate Humberto De la Calle only reached 399,180 votes, and German Vargas Lleras, backed by the Conservatives got 1,407,840 votes.
The Green Alliance, the other major party that supported Fajardo’s candidacy, will determine who they will support Thursday with Fajardo’s party has yet to announce a decision.