Rodolfo Hernández would open his arms to the ELN (January) 1:24 (CNN Spanish) — Rodolfo Hernández advances in the polls ahead of the Colombian presidential elections to be held on Sunday, May 29, closing the gap with “Fico” Gutiérrez, who until now was solidly positioned in second place. Gustavo Petro continues to be, by far, the candidate with the most support for the first round. The novelty of the consultations that are known the week before the elections is, on the other hand, the growth of Hernández. A survey by the National Consulting Center commissioned by Semana reveals that Petro continues to lead the preferences with 35.8% of support. Gutiérrez and Hernández, for their part, are “practically in a technical tie”: the former mayor of Medellín would have 20.8% of the vote while the former mayor of Bucaramanga would achieve 19.1%. Another survey carried out by the same institution and paid for by a private businessman, according to the La Silla Vacía newspaper, gave Hernández a 16% vote intention in May, which represents a considerable increase compared to April, when his support was estimated at 9%. That survey keeps Petro in first place with 38% and Gutiérrez in second with 23%, the same figures that both registered in April, according to information shared by Hernández. A third query, in this case from Invamer, confirms Hernández’s leap: the candidate obtained 20.9% of voting intentions, an increase of seven points compared to April, as reported by Caracol TV and Blu Blu Radio, which they commissioned. the survey. This survey gives Petro 40.6% support, which represents a decrease of three points compared to last month, and Gutiérrez 27.01%, which implies an increase of 0.4 percentage points compared to the consultation previous. How a possible second round is shaping up If in the first round none of the candidates obtains a simple majority (half plus one) of the valid votes, as the polls suggest, a second round will be held on June 19 with the two candidates have the most votes. The current photo indicates that Petro would face Gutierrez or Hernandez. This is the third attempt at the presidency by Petro, who defines himself as a “progressive” leftist leader in a highly traditional and right-wing country. He carries on his shoulders the burden of having been a member of a guerrilla group that led to one of the worst tragedies in the country’s history, the seizure of the Palace of Justice (despite not having participated directly), but at the same time of being one of the the most important political leaders in the recent history of the Latin American nation. “Fico” Gutiérrez, meanwhile, positioned himself as the right-wing candidate after a victory among five pre-candidates from the Team for Colombia coalition. The former mayor of Medellín, who is the youngest candidate in these elections, has presented himself as Gustavo Petro’s nemesis. Gutiérrez obtained the support of the traditional Conservative and Liberal parties, as well as the Partido de la U and implicitly from the Democratic Center, the current government party: the pre-candidate of that group, Óscar Iván Zuluaga, resigned in March and decided to support Gutierrez. Gutiérrez’s speech has focused on “preserving democracy and freedoms,” as well as security, and he has criticized Petro for considering that he has a “populist and authoritarian project.” Hernández, for his part, has presented himself as an outsider, an independent politician outside the establishment and the traditional parties. He worked as a construction businessman, with which he amassed his fortune, and after a controversial but popular stint as mayor of Bucaramanga —a city of some 500,000 inhabitants in northeastern Colombia—, he decided to jump into the national arena with a platform based on the fight against corruption. The winner of the elections —for which almost 39 million citizens are called— will be the successor of Iván Duque and will take office on August 7, 2022. This article was updated with the most recent polls.
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