Ivan Duque Vs. Gustavo Petro: the Right and the Left Face in the Colombian Elections Like Never Before in History : They are the two most different candidates to contest the presidency of Colombia throughout the history of this country.
On the one hand, there is Ivan Duque, a lawyer, with studies in the United States and representative of Centro Democratico, the party of former President Alvaro Uribe.
At the forefront is Gustavo Petro, an economist trained in Europe, former member of the M19 guerrilla movement, ex-congressman and former mayor of Bogota.
The first is identified with the right, while the second is located on the left of the Colombian political fan.
One proposes a free market economic model with an emphasis on the exploitation of natural resources such as oil, while the other argues that a transition must be made to a new type of economy based on local production and renewable energies.
For the analyst and Professor of Political Science Sandra Borda, the election this Sunday has no comparison in the history of Colombia .
“It’s the first election in which a left option can come to power,” said Borda.
The expert adds that in this country “the left was always relegated to the last places of electoral preference”.
The political analyst and journalist Gustavo Rugeles affirms that he has never before seen a country with such a polarization level.
“When I talk to a taxi driver, a candy vendor or a waiter I find that everyone has very polarized political opinions,” says Rugeles.
” It was indeed what many Colombians were waiting. That elections allow showing Distin t as the country faces is not the same , ” he says.
Rugeles points out that elections in Colombia used to show very few nuances and that they were more disputes between the same kind of power.
“It seems positive to me that the country that has two candidates that show different visions of the country,” he concludes.For that reason, Rugeles argues that in these elections the vote called opinion will weigh more than that of “the machineries”, which is how it is said in Colombia how to obtain votes through alliances with regional leaders and perks.
The analyst adds that whoever is the winner this Sunday will represent a change for the country, since both candidates represent innovation in the political class.
That in Colombia the left and the right face each other for the first time is good news for the experts consulted by Early In Time
However, it is not the only positive signal, says writer Juan Alvarez.
“It ‘s a singular choice. The first round proved to be the most peaceful elections and that it’s s becomes something historic , ” he explains.Alvarez points out that these elections present the best safety indicators in the last three or four decades, at least.
“We have the lowest rate of guerrilla skirmishes, the issue of security is something that always marked us,” the expert explains.
The writer argues that, beyond the ideological dispute, the remarkable thing is that there are not so many possibilities of violence or fear of the occurrence of an incident this Sunday, something that did exist on previous occasions.
The issue of peace
The background of Sunday’s elections is the issue of peace.
The agreements signed by the government of Colombia with the ex-guerrilla of the FARC has been the great issue that the Colombian political class has been debating in recent years.
In fact, both candidates have profound differences in this regard.
Ivan Duque Vs. Gustavo Petro
While Ivan Duque maintains that what was agreed upon in 2016 must be reviewed, Gustavo Petro promised to respect what was signed by the government of Juan Manuel Santos “letter by letter”.In the opinion of political scientist Sandra Borda, without the peace process a candidate like Gustavo Petro could never have reached this decisive instance.
“This is explained by the end of the armed conflict with the FARC, which is why the Colombian left can act with much more freedom than before,” the expert said.
Borda explains that in the last decades the armed conflict caused that everything that can be called left is nuanced.
For Gustavo Rugeles, the peace process made exposed the different country visions that exist in Colombia.
He adds that before the armed conflict monopolized the debate preventing alternative options to the traditional political class from growing.
“They did not kill him”
Although it is the first time that a candidate of the left arrives to dispute the Colombian presidency in the second round, that does not mean that there have been no politicians of this tendency in the past.
The difference, explains Juan Álvarez, is that these candidates were murdered systematically.
” In Colombia there have been confrontations of important ideological ranks , but always until they killed the candidate as is the case of Carlos Pizarro or Luis Carlos Galan,” explains the writer.
Alvarez recalls that both Pizarro, leader of the M19, and Galan, a liberal dissident, were “serious candidates for the presidency.”
“The particular thing about this election is that the leftist candidate was not murdered and he will contest the elections this Sunday, ” concludes the Colombian history expert.
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