The Left Wave

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Left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro won Colombia’s primary election this week, a victory that puts the former Marxist guerilla fighter as a top contender in May’s presidential vote, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Petro, who is also a senator and former congressman, will now go to the first round of the presidential elections. Opinion polls project Petro in the lead.

Analysts said if Petro wins, he would shift Colombia leftward, a sharp turn after four years of right-wing rule under President Ivan Duque – he is not eligible for re-election.

The leftist candidate pledged to halt oil exploration and focus the country on manufacturing and agriculture. Economists noted that this change would have a huge impact on the South American country, where fossil fuels generate around half of Colombia’s export revenue.

Petro is likely to face five challengers, including two former mayors of the city of Medellin.

Meanwhile, his left-wing coalition, the Historic Pact, secured a significant victory in the parliamentary elections that took place at the same time as the primaries.

Even though the coalition came out on top of other parties in both houses of parliament, it failed to secure a majority.

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