GUIDANCE

The Challenges Facing Colombia's Next President

MIN READMay 26, 2022 | 19:58 GMT

Centrist candidate Federico Gutierrez (right) speaks next to left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro (left) in Bogota on May 23, 2022, during the last presidential debate before Colombians begin casting ballots to elect their next leader.

Centrist candidate Federico Gutierrez (right) speaks next to left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro (left) in Bogota on May 23, 2022, during the last presidential debate before Colombians begin casting ballots to elect their next leader.

(Guillermo Legaria Schweizer/Getty Images)

Colombia's next president will face challenges including widespread calls for systemic change, a stalled peace deal with guerilla groups, complex tax reforms and the global energy transition. The country will hold the first round of presidential elections on May 29, followed by the second round on June 19. Left-wing senator and former Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro has led the polls throughout the campaign, building off the momentum from last year's mass anti-government protests with promises to enact sweeping reforms aimed at tackling climate change, poverty and other inequality issues. Petro's primary opponent is centrist candidate and former Medellin mayor Federico ''Fico'' Gutierrez, who has adhered to traditional conservative values but has distanced himself from the more established right-wing ideologies heralded by current President Ivan Duque and his like-minded predecessor Alvaro Uribe. In recent weeks, independent populist Rodolfo Hernandez has also risen in the polls as a third candidate, fueled by...

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