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Colombian opposition candidates secured a series of victories in the country’s gubernatorial and local elections this week, dealing a blow to the leftist coalition government of President Gustavo Petro as it struggles with low approval ratings, Reuters reported.

Sunday’s polls for mayors, governors and other regional lawmakers saw more than 125,000 candidates participate. The campaigns were marked by deteriorating security and threats to candidates, but voting proceeded without any major incidents.

Results showed that voters in Colombia’s major cities, including the capital Bogota, rejected Petro’s allies in mayoral polls. Only two of 32 provinces elected governments supported by the ruling Historic Pact coalition.

Former Senator Carlos Fernando Galán of the New Liberalism Party was elected as Bogota’s mayor, a position considered Colombia’s second most important political post after the presidency, the Financial Times wrote.

Meanwhile, voters in the cities of Medellin and Cali elected as mayor candidates who are strong critics of Petro.

Political analysts told Reuters that the results sent “a very strong message” to Petro’s presidency, Colombia’s first leftist leader.

Petro campaigned on a promise to wean Colombia from oil, revamp the economy and end the decades-long conflict with armed groups in the South American nation.

But support for Petro has plummeted in recent months amid a series of divisive policies, as well as scandals involving his allies and family members.

Observers noted that Sunday’s outcome could influence the 2026 presidential election, even though Petro cannot seek reelection.

Still, others explained to the FT that the results will not deter Petro, whose Historic Pact remains a powerful bloc in the country’s legislature.

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