Colombia election a vote to punish ruling class, says analyst

STORY: Business magnate and self-styled "king of TikTok" Rodolfo Hernandez shocked Colombia by getting into a June 19 presidential run-off against leftist Gustavo Petro in a first election round on Sunday (May 29). With 28.2% of votes, Hernandez got second place in a surprise result, beating establishment favorite Federico Gutierrez. Petro, long forecast to win the first round, won 40.3%.

“It was a punishment vote for the national government and political parties - the former presidents who control those parties -, the traditional political class. But on the other hand it was a vote for change. Once more, (to change) the national government, a vote coming from unhappiness so Colombians’ situation can change,” Restrepo said.

He thinks voters who supported other candidates will most likely align with their vote for the second round with their political views. “We don’t know if, in this case, people will have an ideological alignment, with a radical authoritarian right-wing candidate or a left-wing nationalist candidate. That will probably happen.”

Surveys ahead of the first round showed Hernandez - who now has the support of Gutierrez and likely many of his supporters - would lag just a few points behind Petro in a run-off vote.

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