Colombia – Presidential Election

On Sunday Colombians vote for their Presidential election

May 27 2018

Colombia’s presidential candidates are making their final appeals to voters.

Millions of Colombians go to the polls on Sunday to vote for a new president, in an election that could threaten the historic peace agreement with FARC rebels. Opinion polls point to two favourites – right-wing candidate Ivan Duque, and leftist Gustavo Petro. And as Dimitri O’Donnell reports from Bogota, both men have very different visions for the future.

Five men are vying to become the country’s next leader. The result could determine the fate of a 2016 peace agreement that ended a 50-year-long guerrilla war.

Corruption: Colombia has been rocked by major corruption scandals in recent years, pushing the issue to the top of the political agenda.

Politicians from both sides have been tainted by alleged associations with Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction company that paid bribes to officials across Latin America.

Allegations of vote-buying have cast a shadow over previous elections, including in March where several polling stations ran out of ballots before polls closed during a congressional election.
Employment: According to Invamer polls, voters think unemployment is the most important issue Colombia’s next president should address.

Unemployment rose sharply to 11.8 percent in January 2018. The unemployment rate in cities is rising as workers move from rural areas seeking opportunities.

Candidates from both the right and left-wing coalitions have promised job creation and pension reform.

Healthcare: Colombia’s complex and overpopulated healthcare sector is a main concern for voters, according to Invamer opinion polls.

The country has a mixed-market system, with one public health insurance provider and various private options. Successive governments have attempted to simplify the existing system and expand free healthcare.

 

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