with 99.9 percent of the vote in, Iván Duque of the center-right Democratic Center party won Colombia’s second presidential run-off Sunday in a post-war electoral process after more than 50 years of internal conflict, defeating left-leaning candidate Gustavo Petro of the Colombia Humana coalition. This is also the first time the South American country chose a female vice president.
Duque, alongside running mate Marta Lucía Ramirez, clinched the presidency with more than 10.3 million votes—or 53.98 percent—whereas Petro and his vice presidential pick Angela María Robledo obtained over 8 million votes, or 41.80 percent. After both campaigns emerged victorious in the first round of elections on May 27, hundreds of thousands of Colombians who supported losing candidates—such as Humberto de la Calle, Germán Vargas Lleras and Sergio Fajardo—remained undecided and preferred to cast their votes as voto en blanco (“none of the above,” in Spanish), an option that was reflected on Sunday’s elections with more than 800,000 votes or 4.2 percent.
Although Colombians went to the polls in droves this year compared to previous elections, the results are an indication of the country’s ideological rift; Colombian presidential elections were mired in political polarization, fake news and heated exchanges among the candidates. They had different views on the economy, national security and the 2016 peace treaty reached between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). While Petro pledged to uphold the accords, Duque has become a staunch critic of the agreement because former guerrilla members were allowed to run for office without facing a trial for past crimes.