BOGOTA (Reuters) – Colombians will vote on Sunday for his or her subsequent president, selecting between leftist Gustavo Petro, who guarantees profound social reforms, and eccentric enterprise magnate Rodolfo Hernandez, who has discovered fertile floor in anti-corruption rhetoric regardless of going through a graft investigation.
With polls exhibiting the candidates in a technical tie, the election could possibly be one of many closest in Colombia’s latest historical past.
Petro, a former mayor of Bogota and a present senator, has pledged to enhance social and financial circumstances in a rustic the place half of the inhabitants lives in some type of poverty.
“Petro is the president Colombia wants proper now,” mentioned Nora Guevara, a 48-year-old Bogota accountant who was handing out fliers for him.
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A former member of the M-19 guerrilla motion, Petro has proposed an bold $13.5 billion tax reform – equal to five.5% of Colombia’s gross home product – funded by greater duties on the richest.
Hernandez, a shock contender within the second spherical, has been propelled by anti-corruption pledges, plans to shrink authorities and guarantees of housing for the poor.
Nevertheless, the eccentric and infrequently controversial septuagenarian faces an investigation by the legal professional normal’s workplace for allegedly intervening in a trash assortment tender whereas mayor of Bucaramanga, to learn an organization his son had lobbied for.
Hernandez denies the accusations and his supporters like his anti-establishment picture.
“Rodolfo … is a protest vote, a vote the place something political-sounding is rejected,” mentioned actual property administrator Juan Gonzalez, 45, at a Hernandez marketing campaign occasion outdoors Bogota.
Whoever wins, Colombia’s subsequent president will obtain a rising financial system, following the deep disaster brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The nation’s GDP expanded by a document 10.7% in 2021 and is anticipated to develop 6.5% in 2022. The federal government deficit is anticipated to hit 5.6% of GDP, in contrast with an earlier goal of 6.2%.
(Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra; Further reporting by Carlos Vargas and Julia Symmes Cobb; Writing by Oliver Griffin; Enhancing by Richard Pullin)
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