BOGOTA: Colombians will vote for a new president on Sunday in an election filled with uncertainty, as former guerrilla Gustavo Petro and millionaire businessman Rodolfo Hernandez vie for power in a country saddled with widespread poverty, violence and other woes.
Abstention is expected to be high as voters face a stark choice between electing their first ever left-wing president or plumping for a maverick outsider dubbed the Colombian Donald Trump.
“What we have now in the country are questions, uncertainties,” Patricia Ines Munoz, an expert at the Pontifical Javerian University, told AFP.
It has been a tense campaign, with death threats against several candidates ahead of the first round last month, when Colombia’s traditional conservative and liberal powers were dealt a chastening defeat.
There are fears a tight result on Sunday could spark post-election violence.
The successor to conservative President Ivan Duque will have to deal with a country in crisis, reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, recession, a spike in drug-trafficking related violence and deep-rooted anger at the political establishment.
Almost 40 percent of the country lives in poverty while 11 percent are unemployed.