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  • Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro speaks during a news conference in Bogota, Colombia February 26, 2018.

    Presidential candidate Gustavo Petro speaks during a news conference in Bogota, Colombia February 26, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 6 March 2018

Neither Duque nor Petro have been ratified as the official candidates for their respective coalitions.

Pre-election polls in Colombia show that Ivan Duque, a center-right candidate, and Gustavo Petro, a leftist, are in a virtual tie three months ahead of the presidential elections.

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According to a poll by Guarumo and Eco-Analitica Medicion y Conceptos Economicos, 23.6 percent of the surveyed Colombians said they would vote for Duque, while 23.1 percent said they preferred Petro, the former mayor of Bogota.

In January, the poll, which has a 2.7 percent margin of error, placed Sergio Fajardo in first place on 14.6 percent with Petro second on 12.5 percent and Duque in third with 12.2 percent.

But the popularity of Fajardo, the former governor of Antioquia and presidential candidate for the Citizen's Agreement, has waned in the last few months coming down from 15.7 percent in December to just 8.1 percent in the last poll.

If the polls accurately predict the first round outcome, the second round would be a battle between Petro, from the center-left Decent coalition, and Ivan Duque, from the center-right, Woke coalition.

The Decent coalition is portrayed as the progressive and humanist political force and includes Petro's party Human Colombia/Progressive Movements, the Independent Social Alliance and the Social and Indigenous Alternative Movement (MAIS).

While the Woke coalition includes Alvaro Uribe's Democratic Center, the Conservative Party, the Fatherland on Foot Movement and For an Honest and Strong Colombia.

Neither Duque nor Petro have been ratified as the official candidates for their respective coalitions, but preliminary polls show both would most likely be selected to run for president next May.

The first round of the presidential elections in Colombia will be held on May 27. If none of the candidates gets more than 50 percent, the most likely scenario, a second round will take place on June 17.

As for the legislative elections scheduled for next Sunday, March 11, the Democratic Center party is leading the polls with 20.1 percent of the votes, which would give them about 20 seats in the Senate.

The Liberal Party would come on second place with 9.9 percent of the vote intention, followed by Radical Change with 8.1 percent.

Petro's Decent coalition only has 4.7 percent of the vote intention for the Senate.

The polling companies surveyed a total of 7,174 Colombians, of which 3,425 said they intended to vote in 2018.


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