Ivan Duque, a right-wing populist, was on Sunday elected new President of Colombia in the second round of elections.
Duque, a former senator, won 54 percent of the vote, defeating former guerrilla fighter and onetime Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro, 58, who captured about 42 percent in the runoff.
The 41-year-old shot to popularity with the support of former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, and his victory marks a rapid rise for him in what is a relatively short political career.
There are fears that he could become a kind of puppet president with Uribe wielding the real power, despite him insisting he’s his own man.
It’s the first presidential election since the 2016 peace accord brought an end to Colombia’s conflict with the country’s rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which left more than 250,000 people dead.
Though the Colombia’s fragile peace process “is considered largely irreversible,” with over 7,000 rebels who surrendered their weapons beginning new lives as farmers, community leaders and journalists, Duque claim that [the accord is] too lenient on former rebel fighters and has promised “changes”.
“There will be changes,” he declared in his victory speech. “We are going to make war victims the focal point of the peace process.”
Duque will be sworn-in as president on Aug. 7 for a four-year term to replace the outgoing Juan Manuel Santos.