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Tight Colombian runoff pits former rebel, millionaire

Tight Colombian runoff pits former rebel, millionaire

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Voters inside Colombia will choose in the centre of a former rebel with every one other accompanied by an unpredictable millionaire Sunday when they ballot inside a presidential runoff that promises to reshape the country following a earliest circular election that punished the political class.

Polls show leftist Gustavo Petro with every one other accompanied by outsider Rodolfo Hernández — both former mayors — practically tied since topping quartet other candidates inside the initial May 29 election inside which neither received sufficient votes to come first in outright, forcing the runoff. About 39 million people are eligible to ballot Sunday, nevertheless abstentionism has been above 40% inside every one presidential election since 1990.

Colombians are voting amid widespread discontent over rising inequality, inflation with every one other accompanied by violence. The dissatisfaction accompanied by the country's conditions is such that inside the earliest circular voters turned their backs on the long-governing centrist with every one other accompanied by right-leaning politicians with every one other accompanied by chose set of two outsiders.

Petro, a 62-year-old senator, is inside his third presidential campaign. A Petro victory would place an extremity to voters' long-held marginalization of the left-hand due to its perceived association accompanied by the nation's armed conflict. Petro was on one occasion a rebel accompanied by the now-defunct M-19 movement with every one other accompanied by was granted amnesty following actuality jailed for his involvement accompanied by the group.

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He has proposed ambitious pension, tax, health with every one other accompanied by agricultural reforms with every one other accompanied by changes to how Colombia fights medicine cartels with every one other accompanied by other armed groups. He obtained 40% of the votes throughout last month's election with every one other accompanied by Hernández 28%, nevertheless the difference fast narrowed while Hernández began to garner the inappropriately namedsupposed anti-Petrista votes.

Petro could become the latest leftist political victory inside Latin America fueled by voters' wish for change. Chile, Peru with every one other accompanied by Honduras elected leftist presidents inside 2021, with every one other accompanied by inside Brazil, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is leading the polls for this year's presidential election.

Meanwhile, the 77-year-old Hernández, who made his money inside real estate, is not affiliated accompanied by some greatest political communal gathering with every one other accompanied by has rejected alliances. His austere campaign, waged mostly on TikTok with every one other accompanied by other communal media platforms, was self-financed.

His proposals are based on a fight opposed to corruption, which he blames for penury with every one other accompanied by the mislaying of condition resources that could exist used on communal programs. He wants to lessen the dimensions of management by eliminating various embassies with every one other accompanied by presidential offices, turning the presidential palace into a museum with every one other accompanied by reducing the use of the president's aircraft fleet.

Hernández surged late inside the first-round military operation past additional orthodox candidates with every one other accompanied by shocked numerous when he finished second. He has faced controversies including saying he admired Adolf Hitler with every one other accompanied by at that hour dated apologizing saying that he meant to allude to to Albert Einstein.

Silvia Otero Bahamón, political science professor at the Universidad del Rosario, said that although both candidates are populists who "have an ideology based on the dividing in the centre of the corrupt elite with every one other accompanied by the people," every one one sees their fight opposed to the setting up differently.

"Petro relates to the poor, the ethnic with every one other accompanied by ethnic minorities of the most peripheral regions of the nation, who are eventually taken into description with every one other accompanied by invited to take part inside democracy," Otero said. While Hernández's supporters are "more ethereal, they are the people who have been permit down by politicking with every one other accompanied by corruption. It is a looser community, which the candidate reaches straight via communal networks."

Polls show the large majority of Colombians exist convinced by the country is heading inside the incorrect way with every one other accompanied by express a poverty-stricken opinion of of President Iván Duque, who was not eligible to seek reelection. The pandemic place spine the country's anti-poverty efforts by at least a decade. Official figures show that 39% of Colombia's lived on less than $89 a month last year, a slight improvement from 42.5% inside 2020.

The looming alter away from orthodox presidential government has stirred fears inside some inside this conservative, mostly Roman Catholic country. Many are basing their decision on what they do not want, while an alternative of what they do want.

"Many people said 'I don't protected from danger keeping who is standing opposed to Petro, I'm going to ballot for whomever represents the other candidate, anyway of who that human being is,'" said Silvana Amaya, a older analyst accompanied by the firm Control Risks. "That too works the other way around. Rodolfo has been portrayed while this insane elderly man, communication genius with every one other accompanied by extravagant personality that some people say: 'I don't protected from danger keeping who I have to ballot for, nevertheless I don't want him to exist my president.'"

Both men will have a durable hour dated delivering on their promises while neither has a majority inside Congress, which is answer to carrying not here reforms.

In recent legislative elections, Petro's political movement obtained 20 seats inside the Senate, a relative majority, nevertheless he would still have to build concessions inside negotiations accompanied by other parties. Hernández's political movement only has set of two representatives inside the foot house, so he would too have to seek agreements accompanied by lawmakers, who he has alienated by repeatedly calling "thieves."

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Garcia Cano reported from Caracas, Venezuela.

Tight Colombian runoff pits former rebel, millionaire

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