Colombia elects former guerrilla Petro as first leftist president

BOGOTA, 20 June 2022, (TON): Leftist Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla movement who has vowed profound social and economic change, won Colombia’s presidency on Sunday, the first progressive to do so in the country’s history.

Petro beat construction magnate Rodolfo Hernandez with an unexpectedly wide margin of some 716,890 votes. The two had been technically tied in polling ahead of the vote.

Petro, a former mayor of capital Bogota and current senator, has pledged to fight inequality with free university education, pension reforms and high taxes on unproductive land.

He won 50.5 percent to Hernandez’s 47.3 percent.

Petro’s proposals especially a ban on new oil projects have startled some investors, though he has promised to respect current contracts.

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