Iván Duque wins Colombia's presidential election

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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

On Sunday, 41-year-old conservative politician Iván Duque won the second round of Colombia's presidential election. Duque won 54% of the votes defeating Gustavo Petro, who received about 42%.

With this victory, president-elect Duque is to become the youngest President of Colombia since 1872. The first round of the election took place three weeks ago. According to reports, the voter turnout was 53%. After winning the election, Duque tweeted, saying: "I will give everything, all of my energy to unite the country. No more divisions, let's think of a country with everyone and for everyone!" ((es))spanish language: ‍Voy a entregar todas, absolutamente todas mis energías por unir a nuestro país. ¡No más divisiones, pensemos en un país con todos y para todos!

This was the first presidential election after the 2016 peace accords with the rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) which brought an end to more than five decades of conflict that resulted in more than 250 thousand deaths. In his victory speech, Duque spoke about having "peace with justice" as the current accords prevent the rebels from getting prison terms. After agreeing to the accords, about 7000 rebels had surrendered their weapons.

Previously, Duque worked at the Inter-American Development Bank in the US. In 2014, Duque was elected as a senator, serving for one term. Duque received support from former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe for the senator post. Uribe, who has strongly opposed the peace accords, has supported Duque for his election campaign.

Duque's opposition candidate Gustavo Petro had previously served as the mayor of the Colombian capital city, Bogotá. After the results were declared on Sunday, 58-year-old Petro tweeted about the result, saying, "What defeat[?] Eight million free Colombians taking a stand. There is no defeat here. For now we won't be the government." ((es))Spanish language: ‍Cuál derrota. Ocho millones de colombianos y colombianas libres en pie. Aquí no hay derrota. Por ahora no seremos gobierno.

Duque's vice-president-elect, Marta Lucía Ramírez, is to become the first female vice president of Colombia. Duque is scheduled to be sworn-in on August 7, for a four-year term, succeeding outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos.