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News > Latin America

Colombia Elections: Live Updates -Polls Have Closed

  • A woman holds a national flag at a polling station as Colombians vote for a new president in Bogota, Colombia, May 27, 2018.

    A woman holds a national flag at a polling station as Colombians vote for a new president in Bogota, Colombia, May 27, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 27 May 2018

Some 36 million Colombians are eligible to vote, according to a March 2018 electoral census.

Millions of Colombians went to polling stations Sunday to vote for their new president from five candidates. Campaigns have been marked by a strong polarization of political forces, as former President Alvaro Uribe's protegee, Ivan Duque is leading the vote intention, followed by the center-left ex-mayor of Bogota Gustavo Petro.

Colombia Elections: What Do Candidates Say About Peace?

Coming on third is Sergio Fajardo, representing the Colombia Coalition. His party, the Alternative Democratic Pole, is divided between Fajardo and Petro's supporters, as the latter used to be a prominent leader in that party. However, Fajardo is confident he will be able to surpass Petro in this electoral process.

Even though Duque is leading polls, he doesn't have enough support to be elected in the first round of voting, as candidates need 50 percent or more to win the elections. This means Duque would probably face Petro or Fajardo in the second round of voting, on June 17.

Polling in fourth place is German Vargas Lleras, from the Mejor Vargas Lleras Citizen Movement, supported by current President Juan Manuel Santos, followed by Humberto de la Calle, a leading member in the negotiating team that arranged the peace process between the government and the former insurgent FARC.

Some 36 million Colombians are eligible to vote, according to a March 2018 electoral census. However, just below half or an estimated 15 million to 16 million voters are expected to turn out.

About 100 international observers are expected to oversee the voting. Eight European parliament members were selected to be among the monitors of the election process.

All updates are in local Colombian times.

7.50 p.m.

Ivan Duque 

7.25 p.m.

In a speech to his supporters, Gustavo Petro highlighted the right to think differently and the need of keeping a diverse Colombia, with a variety of points of view and debates.

He also stressed that he accepted "the rules of Constitution, which we ourselves created."

"With almost 5 million of votes, mostly from the youth and the marginalized, we expressed our right to decide our destiny." 

6.45 p.m.

Sergio Fajado reacted to the results in a press conference calling his supporters to remain united and welcoming the score as historical.

5.25 p.m.

With 91.68% of the polls counted so far , this is the temporary results issued by electoral authorities.


5.10 p.m.

With 96 percent of the vote counted, electoral authorities found that the turn out rate reaches 51,65 percent of eligible voters.

4:50 p.m.

According to Petro quoting Google Trends, he is by far the most trendy topic researched.

4:15 p.m.

According to the first bulletin released by electoral authorities, Ivan Duque obtained 47,74 percent of the vote, Sergio Fajardo 25,02, Gustavo Petro 22,11, German Vargas Lleras 6,66 percent, and the other candidates less than 1,5 percent. About a thousand complaints about irregularities have been registered across the country, including vote buying. About 9,000 voters were also unable to cast their vote because electoral authorities failed to provide them with credentials.

1:12 p.m.

12:30 a.m.

The Electoral Observing Mission (MOE) said only half of the observed polling stations in Magangue had the biometric identification system, despite being required in all of them. In spite of this, they also said the process has been running calmly.

12:11 a.m. 

Presidential candidate German Vargas Lleras, from the Better Vargas Lleras Citizen Movement, cast his vote moments ago.

Colombian presidential candidate German Vargas Lleras holds his ballot before voting at a polling station, during the presidential election in Bogota, Colombia May 27, 2018. Photo | Reuters

"Thanks to all Colombians for your support. To those that have not voted I invite you to support me. I've seen a great participation in this electoral day and that pleases me a lot," said Vargas Lleras after voting. 

12:06 a.m.

Petro's Human Colombia denounce pre-marked ballots in favor of Ivan Duque in Quintin Lame, Tacueyo, Toribio municipality, and the presence of unregistered electoral witnesses in different polling stations, among other irregularities.

11:45 a.m.

Foreign polling stations started to close across the Atlantic ocean, but 147 polling stations are still open in the American continent.

11:36 a.m.

Members of Human Colombia, Petro's political platform, complained that the police tried to close their campaign center in Manaure-La Guajira.

11:32 a.m.

People cast their ballots at polling stations set up at a convention centre as Colombians vote for a new president in Bogota. Photo | Reuters.

11:27 a.m.

Uribe's candidate Ivan Duque voted along with his wife and children.

11:25 a.m.

The center-left candidate Gustavo Petro cast his vote.

Petro cast his vote as he found out Gabriel Muñoz Muñoz, one of his local campaign coordinators, was murdered in the Huila department. 

10:23 a.m.

Candidate for the Liberal Party Humberto de la Calle cast his vote.

9:41 a.m.

Candidate Sergio Fajardo voted.

"#IVotedForFajardo," he tweeted.

9:02 a.m.

Pastor Alape Lascarro,  one of the new FARC political party's leader, cast his vote.

"I just fulfilled my citizen's duty in process of political reincoporation. Despite the State's breach, we're still complying."

8:57 a.m.

FARC leader and former presidential candidate Rodrigo Londoño "Timochenko" cast his vote for the first time in his life.

“We've always had electoral process in the organization but this is the first time I exercise this right and I'm excited because it's the result of a road we're building between Colombians," said Londoño and added "the invitation is for everyone to exercise this right and to make this day a day of reconciliation among all Colombians."

Londoño left the presidential race after suffering from health issues.

8:30 a.m.

Ex-president Alvaro Uribe voted at polling station #1.

8:25 a.m.

FARC Party member and Senator Sandra Ramírez votes.

8:14 a.m.

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos cast his vote in the polling station #1, located in the Bolivar Square. Defense Minister Luis Carlos Villegas voted moments before.

"This is a very special day for our democracy. We have a number of candidate and nobody is sure about what the result will be, if one takes into account that these are the safest elections, that has not happened in decades. We want them to be the elections with most guarantees for candidates and voters," said the president after voting.

8:00 a.m.

Polls officially open.

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