Colombians head to polls in closest contest in recent times

Bogota, Jun 19 (EFE).- Colombians headed to polls on Sunday to elect president Ivan Duque’s successor in a close contest between former leftist guerrilla Gustavo Petro, and independent candidate Rodolfo Hernandez of the Anti-Corruption Rulers’ League party.

Voting started at 8 am local time and will end at 4 pm, with results expected to be announced an hour after the polls close.

Over 39 million Colombians are eligible to vote and 102,152 polling stations have been set up across the country.

Sunday’s election is the closest contest in recent times with polls suggesting Petro and Hernandez are technically tied.

Petro, 62, is running with social leader Francia Márquez as his vice-president while Hernández, 77, is running with academic Marelen Castillo, both Afro-Colombian. Whoever wins, Colombia will inaugurate its first Black women vice-president.

In the first round of elections held on May 29, Petro obtained 40.32% of the votes while Hernandez received 28.15%.

Despite allegations of electoral fraud encouraged by some political sectors, the National Registrar’s Office has assured that the transparency of voting is guaranteed with over 50 organizations monitoring the election. EFE


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