Colombia’s leading presidential candidates, left-wing Gustavo Petro and centre-right Federico Gutierrez held their closing campaign rallies on Sunday. Petro’s followers gathered in Bogota to show their support.
A pen is more important than a gun and we’ll prove it on Sunday, Petro said. In recent polls, Petro, a former guerrilla who vows to tackle grating inequality, held a big lead with 40.6% of support, according to pollster Invamer.
Petro has pledged to stop all new oil development and redistribute pension savings, while Gutierrez has promised better salaries and cuts to inefficient government spending. Gutierrez held his campaign rally in Medellin, a city where he was mayor between 2004 and 2011.
“While other campaigns focused on hate speech, I focused on proposals. I want to ask our followers to not fall into provocations. While others attack us, we’ll hug them. While they insult us, we’ll give more proposals for Colombia. Let’s not lose focus. We are going to win but the most important thing is not winning, but transforming Colombia,” Gutierrez said.
“There is nothing more like (Venezuelan President Nicolas) Maduro than (Colombian President Ivan) Duque. They even share intellectual incapacity. We will turn Colombia into Venezuela, they have already turned Colombia into Venezuela. I think people say in Venezuela they hope they won’t turn into Colombia.” Petro said.
The first round of elections will be held on May 29. If no one wins more than 50% in the first round of voting and the two main candidates, Petro and Gutierrez, would head to a June run-off. Petro would win 52.7% against 44.2% for Gutierrez, the survey showed. More than 39 million Colombians are eligible to vote in the election.