The Colombian presidential election results confirm the second round, and that a run-off election between Gustavo Petro and Ivan Duque will be necessary to decide the country’s newest leader. The final election is set for June 17.
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With just under 100 percent of the ballots counted, former President Alvaro Uribe's protegee, right-wing Ivan Duque - projected to gain over 45 percent of today's presidential vote - ended with 39.14 percent. Center-left ex-mayor of Bogota Gustavo Petro won 25.09 percent of the popular vote. This movest these two candidates on to the run-off election set to take place June 17 in order to decide the final presidential winner. Martha Ramirez will continue to run as Duque's vice president and Angela Robledo as the vice-presidential candidate with Gustavo Petro.
Speaking to crowds in Bogota, Petro assured supporters they can change Colombia's history. "You can be sure that we are going to win, we can change the history of Colombia. Colombians have given a democratic example to the world." He went on to tell supporters that his progressive administration will protect Colombia's plurality and the human rights of all. Over 100 social rights activists were killed by hitmen in 2017 alone. "The human rights of all will be protects," Petro said this evening after results were in.
Duque told his supporters at a rally tonight, "Today Colombian democracy has won. Today Colombians have given us the vote of confidence so we can begin a great transformation."
Third in today’s presidential polls was Sergio Fajardo, representing the left-leaning Colombia Coalition. He managed 23.73 percent of the vote. In a post-election speech, Fajardo thanked his supporters and told the crowd, "we don't want more violence. We can not return or allow violence to get control of the Colombian people."
German Lleras came in fourth place with 7.28 percent of the people's confidence.
A surprisingly 53.37 percent of the population turned out to vote in a nation with voluntary polling.
Electoral fraud is widely acknowledged in Colombian elections, and this electoral process registered 1,006 complaints and denouncements regarding electoral fraud, according to URIEL, Colombia's electoral transparency agency. In Bogota alone, 142 denouncements of fraud were registered, and in Medellin, 107. The complaints include voter intimidation and outright vote buying, according to state officials.
The anti-corruption candidate, Petro, called for his party, Colombia Humana, to "assemble in all public squares of all municipalities" today 4 p.m. when the poll’s close to monitor the ballots. He accused Santos of not acting fast enough invite European Union and other formal international observers to ensure against voter irregularities during today’s polls.
The ministers of defense, Luis Carlos Villegas, reported some 500 cyber attacks were registered today on the country's electronic electoral system.
These are the first presidential elections since current president Manuel Santos signed the bilateral peace accord between the government and the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) took place in 2016. The disarmed FARC has formed its own political party under the same acronym.
Next month’s polls will decide who takes over for Santos in August after his eight-year run.