The outgoing President of Colombia, Iván Duque, appealed this Sunday, after voting in the second round of the presidential elections, to trust in the institutions and in the verdict of the Colombian people.
“This has to be a party of democracy with confidence in the institutions and with full confidence in the verdict of the Colombian people”, said the President in what was the last time he opened an election, that of his succession, discussed between the leftist Gustavo Petro and the populist Rodolfo Hernández.
The President voted as soon as the polling stations opened, at table number one, installed in the National Capitol, in downtown Bogotá.
Duque reiterated that Colombia is “one of the oldest democracies” in that hemisphere” and one of the “strongest” and highlighted that “this process of peaceful, orderly and institutional transition in the presidential command has always been maintained”, which he himself will guarantee until 7 August, when the President elected today will take office.
“From now on we can say to the elected official today that he will have our full support to start the presidential transition process”, he said, adding that this process will be carried out with total “transparency”.
The appeal was made after Gustavo Petro this week cast suspicion on the entity that organizes the elections, talking about a possible fraud in the result.
The national secretary, Alexandre Vega, who spoke after Duque, assured that “despite the disinformation, the electoral process remains firm and strong as an institution” and regretted the “disinformation attacks throughout this week”.
Venezuelan opponent Carlos Valero also today asked the winner of the presidential elections in Colombia to continue helping migrants living in the Andean country.
“Good luck to the Colombian brothers, we hope that, regardless of who is elected, they will continue to support the Venezuelan cause, helping our migrants, pushing for a political solution to our crisis,” wrote the former deputy on his Twitter account.
At the beginning of last year, Duque approved the Temporary Protection Statute that aimed to regularize nearly two million Venezuelan migrants in an irregular situation in Colombia for a period of ten years, after which they could apply for permanent residency.
Today 39,002,239 Colombians are called to vote and elect a new president.
In the first round, held on May 29, Petro obtained 8,527,768 votes (40.32%) and Hernández received 5,953,209 votes (28.15%).
According to EFE, both Petro and Hernández said in the campaign that, if they win, they will reopen the border with Venezuela, which was closed to vehicular traffic in August 2015 by order of President Nicolás Maduro.
The 102,000 polling stations will be open for voting in these elections until 16:00 local time (22:00 in Lisbon) throughout the territory.