The Wall Street Journal: Business-friendly Ivan Duque wins Colombia presidential runoff

0
77
views

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — Ivan Duque, a 41-year-old lawyer who has spent much of his working life in Washington policy circles, was elected president in a runoff vote that will usher in a rightward shift in a country that has been struggling as it emerges from a long guerrilla conflict.

Duque, a market-friendly technocrat who pledges to loosen regulations for businesses and aggressively fight the drug trade, won 10.3 million votes on Sunday, or nearly 54% of the total, with 99% of all voting stations reporting. His rival, Gustavo Petro, 58, a former guerrilla and ex-mayor of Bogotá who wanted a bigger role for the state in the economy, took 8 million votes, or 41.8%. Voters marked 4% of the ballots blank, mainly in protest.

The outcome is also a victory for Duque’s mentor, former President Álvaro Uribe, a powerful senator who critics fear will have an outsize influence in the new government, though he denies he will. Uribe helped fashion the improbable rise of the little-known Duque, leading a campaign in which his adversary, Petro, was painted as a radical who would lead Colombia to economic ruin as in neighboring Venezuela.

The election came at a critical stage. Colombia is reincorporating into society thousands of rebels who disarmed as part of a peace pact, while trying to control booming drug trafficking and gangs in regions where the guerrillas once had influence.

An expanded version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

Also popular on WSJ.com:

Is the party over for Nevada’s legal brothels? Possibility of ban looms.

Attention, Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods: You’re in luck.