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  • A total of 14 candidates who openly define as LGBT people were running for the elections on Sunday.

    A total of 14 candidates who openly define as LGBT people were running for the elections on Sunday. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 March 2018

Amid numerous controversies in the voting process, Colombians went to the polls Sunday to elect 166 legislators to the House of Representatives and 102 senators.

Colombians have elected two legislators in the Congress that define themselves as LGBT during the parliamentary elections held on Sunday.

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Angélica Lozano Correa and Mauricio Andrés Toro Orjuela, both from the slight center-left Green Alliance were respectively elected in the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Lozano is also known as the partner of Senator Claudia Lopez, who will run for the Vice-Presidency on May 27 along with Medellin's former mayor Sergio Fajardo, representing the Colombia Coalition. Lozano and Lopez are the only openly lesbians in Congress, and Toro became the first only openly-gay elected in Congress.

A total of 14 candidates who openly defined themselves as LGBT people were running for the elections last Sunday.

According to some analysts, the legislative elections provide insight into the tendencies for upcoming presidential elections in Colombia. Left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro, who has been riding high in the polls despite an intense campaign against him, easily won the primaries for his coalition while Uribe-backed Senator Ivan Duque topped his opponent from the Conservative party by over 40 points.

The electoral process has been criticized however due to numerous irregularities, including the running out of ballots as well as videos of alleged vote buying.

New left-wing coalitions, including the Decent Colombia coalition which included the Democratic Pole and the Patriotic Union, gained seats, but remain minorities in both houses.

Despite a slight uptick in turnout, abstention remained high throughout the country with 53 percent abstention for the Senate vote and 52.4 percent for the House of Representatives.


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