BOGOTA/BUCARAMANGA, Colombia — Leftist Gustavo Petro, a former member of the M-19 guerrilla motion who has vowed profound social and financial change, gained Colombia’s presidency on Sunday, the primary progressive to take action within the nation’s historical past.

Petro beat development magnate Rodolfo Hernandez with an unexpectedly large margin of some 716,890 votes. The 2 had been technically tied in polling forward of the vote.

Petro, a former mayor of capital Bogota and present senator, has pledged to struggle inequality with free college schooling, pension reforms and excessive taxes on unproductive land. He gained 50.5% to Hernandez’s 47.3%.

Petro’s proposals — particularly a ban on new oil tasks — have startled some buyers, although he has promised to respect present contracts. 

Supporter Alejandro Forero, 40, who makes use of a wheelchair, cried as outcomes rolled in on the Petro marketing campaign celebration in Bogota.

“Lastly, thank God. I do know he will probably be president and he’ll assist these of us who’re least privileged. That is going to vary for the higher,” stated Forero, who’s unemployed.

This marketing campaign was Petro’s third presidential bid and his victory provides the Andean nation to an inventory of Latin American nations which have elected progressives lately.

Petro, 62, stated he was tortured by the navy when he was detained for his involvement with the guerrillas, and his potential victory has high-ranking armed forces officers bracing for change.

Petro’s working mate Francia Marquez, a single mom and former housekeeper, would be the nation’s first Afro-Colombian girl vice-president. 

“As we speak I’m voting for my daughter — she turned 15 two weeks in the past and requested for only one present: that I vote for Petro,” stated safety guard Pedro Vargas, 48, in Bogota’s southwest on Sunday morning.

I hope this man fulfills the hopes of my daughter, she has plenty of religion in his guarantees,” added Vargas, who stated he by no means votes.

Petro has additionally pledged to totally implement a 2016 peace cope with FARC rebels and search talks with the still-active ELN guerrillas.

He had raised doubts concerning the integrity of the depend after irregularities in congressional tallies in March, and earlier on Sunday urged voters to examine their ballots for any extraneous marks which might invalidate them. 

Hernandez, who served as mayor of Bucaramanga, was a shock contender within the run-off and has promised to shrink authorities and to finance social packages by stopping corruption.

He has additionally pledged to offer free narcotics to addicts in an effort to fight drug trafficking.

Regardless of his anti-graft rhetoric, Hernandez is below a corruption investigation himself over allegations he intervened in a trash administration tender to profit an organization his son lobbied for. He has denied wrongdoing.

Protection Minister Diego Molano advised journalists on Sunday afternoon that the killing of an electoral volunteer in Guapi, Cauca province, was below investigation.

Sixty voting places needed to be moved due to heavy rains in some components of the nation, the registrar stated.

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