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  • More than 36 million Colombians are being called to ballot this Sunday, Oct.27, for the local and regional elections.

    More than 36 million Colombians are being called to ballot this Sunday, Oct.27, for the local and regional elections. | Photo: @Registraduria

Published 24 October 2019

The electoral campaign for the regional elections in Colombia lasted three months, a time during which the candidates promoted their programs. 

Colombia is preparing to hold on its first local and regional elections since the signing of the peace agreement in 2016 on Oct. 27, as campaigns close across the country.

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The candidates started last Sunday the closing of their campaigns which ended this Thursday three days before the elections. Walks, masses, lotteries, caravans, and concerts were organized to celebrate as the events attracted up to 10,000 people in total. 

"I ratified my commitment to transparent and hardworking governance for the Ocaña [a municipality located in the north of the country in the Norte de Santander Department] that we all want if people support me at the polls on Oct. 27, " said the candidate for mayor of Ocaña, Wilmer Guerrero.

On the other hand, there were candidates who decided to hold more modest events, in which they also met face to face with the citizens who support their candidatures. 

In accordance with the electoral regulations set forth by the National Registry of the Civil State of Colombia, as of October 24, candidates will not be able to participate in public events concerning their political candidacies.

The race has been marred by multiple setbacks, violent acts, attacks on political headquarters and murders of political leaders nominated for these public positions. Seven candidates were killed and more than 60 have been attacked in the lead up to the election.

Since the beginning of the electoral campaign on July 27 up until Sep. 16, political violence in Colombia has left 40 candidates threatened with death, two kidnapped candidates, five victims of attacks and seven candidates killed, according to the EOM, an independent platform of social organizations that promotes the exercise of civil and political rights.

The Ombudsman's Office warned that 36 percent of Colombian municipalities are at electoral risk because of the presence of illegal armed groups, which is why the country has decreed an early warning of ‘Electoral Risk’.

Following the violence, various political organizations and human rights defenders issued complaints and urged the Government of President Ivan Duque to work to protect and safeguard the physical and psychological integrity of the electoral candidates.

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