With just nine days to go before Colombians head to the polls to elect a new president, progressive candidate Gustavo Petro has substantially closed the gap between himself and conservative candidate Ivan Duque.
Petro, who has recently secured a series of endorsements from across the political spectrum, has 40.2 percent of the support among likely voters while Duque, a staunch detractor of the Colombian peace process and former president Alvaro Uribe's protege, has 46.2 percent of support. The same poll shows 13.6 percent of voters will cast blank ballots.
Strong support for Petro’s candidacy comes from people between 18 and 34 years old, while the older population favors Duque. Petro also has significant support in Bogota along with Colombia's Caribbean and Pacific coastal regions.
Petro has steadily gained support in recent weeks and secured endorsements from several prominent social movements and political parties. On Friday, senator-elect Antana Mockus and senator Claudia Lopez, two of the leaders of the Green Alliance, announced they would vote for Petro in the June 17 election.
The endorsement, which was preceded by a meeting between Petro and Mockus, comes after Petro also received the support of Colombia’s National Indigenous Organization (ONIC) along with former presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and world-renowned economist Thomas Piketty. Petro and Mockus signed a twelve-point agreement in which Petro agreed to not call for a national constituent assembly, respecting private property, gender equality, promoting the transition to a renewable energy economy and advance the implementation of the anti-corruption proposals.
Both Mockus and Lopez were central figures in Sergio Fajardo’s campaign. Fajardo came in third in the May 27 first round of votes, reaching over four million votes.
During a press conference, Lopez explained her decision. “Uribismo (the movement that supports former president Alvaro Uribe) already has a legislative majority, and want to fuse the judicial branch in one single court. We are not only in defense of peace, but we are also defending society from tyranny and absolute control.”