Colombia elects Iván Duque as President

Colombia elects Iván Duque as President

Duque, a former senator from the right-wing Democratic Center party, will take over the presidency in August from outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos.

The new president Ivan Duque speaks after being elected as the new president of Colombia

Iván Duque Márquez, of the right-wing Democratic Centre party, won the second round of the Colombian presidential election, claiming 53,98% (10.373.080) of the votes. His left-wing rival, Gustavo Petro, of the Humane Colombia movement, finished in second place, with 41,81% (8.034.189 votes). On May 27, Duque had won the first round with nearly 40%. When he takes office in August at age 42, Presidentelect Iván Duque will be Colombia’s youngest president in more than a century. Elected for a fouryear term, Duque will succeed outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos, whose term was marked by a peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The agreement formally ended 52 years of civil war, and the rebels, which disarmed and transformed into a political part, are struggling to reinsert themselves into civilian life. In his victory speech, Iván Duque promised to change parts of the accord but not shred it to pieces: “That peace we long for will have corrections, so that the victims are the centre of the process, to guarantee truth, justice and reparation.” Addressing a crowd of jubilant supporters in Bogota, he also assured he would strive to bridge Colombia’s division and govern on behalf of all Colombians: “I’m not going to govern with hatred (…) Neither in my mind nor my heart is there a desire for revenge and retaliation”, Duque said.