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(en) Colombia, Vía Libre: Analysis of the second round of the 2022 presidential elections (ca, de, it, pt, tr)[machine translation]

Date Fri, 1 Jul 2022 08:38:00 +0300

In this text we present an analysis of the results of the second round of the 2022 presidential elections in Colombia from the perspective of Grupo Libertario Vía Libre. To that end, we analyze the increase in electoral participation, the historic victory of the center left, the deep limitations of the national agreement program and democratic capitalism, as well as some anarchist perspectives for social change. ---- Increased voter turnout ---- According to bulletin 63 of the pre-count of the National Registry of Civil Status, with 99.99% of the tables counted, these votes registered a relative increase in participation in these elections: 22,658,694 votes and 58.09% of the total number of voters. This represents an increase of 1,217,089 votes and an increase of 3.1% compared to the first round; registering the largest concurrence to a second round since 1998 and the second largest record since the beginning of the application of this mechanism in the country.
In addition, compared to the May 29 elections, there was an increase in the blank vote and, to a lesser extent, the invalid vote, while the unmarked vote decreased. In this way, 501,987 blank votes were presented and 2.24% of the total, an important growth of 136,223 votes and 37.24% of the total, although still within a lower weight. Likewise, there were 271,667 invalid votes and 1.19%, an increase of 29,849 votes and 12.34% of the total, in addition to 23,615 unmarked votes and 0.10%, a decrease of 3,105 votes and a loss of 11.32% of the total.
Participation was majority in 22 territories, especially in the departments of the center of the country, with Bogotá registering 65.49% attendance, Cundinamarca 67.68%, Boyacá 66.68% and Santander with 67.65%; the southwest with Cauca showing 65.07% and Nariño 63.07%; and the eastern plains with Meta with 64.18% and Casanare with 68.02%, the latter, the highest percentage in the country.
In contrast, the majority abstained in 11 territories, with the low participation of the Caribbean coast in departments such as San Andrés with 32.5%, the lowest record of these administrative units in this election, as well as La Guajira 39.58%, Bolívar with 48.20% and even the progressive government region of Magdalena 49.47%; the most distant zone of the Orinoquia with Vichada with 37%, Guainía with 39% and Arauca with 49.82%; the south of the Amazon region with Vaupés with 37.3% and Amazonas with 46.2%, as well as the department of Choco with 47.82% and consulates abroad with 31.46%, the lowest record of all the territories.
Historic victory of the center left
The main news of the day is, clearly, the triumph obtained by the center-left formula of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez; of the social democratic coalition of the Historical Pact with 11,281,013 votes and 50.44% of the total. Petro, a former member of the nationalist guerrilla of the April 19 Movement, achieved an increase of 2,739,396 votes and a growth of 32.1% compared to the first round, managing to collect the majority of the centrist vote, as well as important liberal, conservative and political sectors. Christians, in addition to previously abstentionist fringes.
Petro, in the past senator and mayor of Bogotá, won in 17 territories of the country, basically the same as in the first round, except in the 2 departments of Risaralda and Quindío in which he lost primacy. His candidacy won in Bogotá with 58.5%; in addition to the 7 departments of the Caribbean coast, standing out Guajira with 64.5%, Atlántico with 67% and Sucre 64%; the 4 departments of the Pacific coast with Cauca with 79.02%, Nariño with 80.9% and Chocó with 81.9%; most of the Amazon region with 4 departments, with Putumayo with 79.6% and Vaupés with 74%; in addition to the minority vote in the consulates of the southern cone and Europe.
The second place was occupied by the populist centrist formula of Rodolfo Hernández and Marelen Castillo of the right-wing League of Governors against corruption, which obtained 10,580,412 votes and 47.31% of the total. The former mayor of Bucaramanga obtained an increase of 4,615,077 votes and an increase of 77.4%, in the vote compared to the first round, managing to add the majority but not all the votes of the right-wing candidacies of Federico Gutiérrez who supported him with his movement and John Milton Rodríguez who did it in a personal capacity.
Hernández won in 16 territories, the same as in the first round, plus the additions of the great Caldas and the traditional plazas of Uribismo in Antioquia and of Colombians abroad. The construction businessman led the vote in the Andean region with Norte de Santander and 77.8%, Santander with 72.9% and Antioquia with 63.9%; the Orinoquía with 4 departments such as Arauca with 67% and Casanare with 70.26%; the minority from the Amazon region with 2 departments such as Caquetá with 53.46%; in addition to voters abroad, especially in North America and the high Andean region.
Between the first and the second candidacy there is a small difference of just 700,060 votes and 3.13%, which, however, was slightly higher than what was predicted by most of the latest polls. This is the closest difference since the 1994 runoff results and, again, he ranked second by the closest margin in the nation's ballots.
On the other hand, it seems clear that while Hernández lost voting intention in recent weeks, especially from his virtual majority after the first round, Petro grew in this period, adding adhesions more organically than his competitor, who attracted more fragmented support, especially, after his refusal to dialogue requested by the centrist Fajardo.
It is striking that the candidacy of the bosses' unity, weakened and marked by anti-communist fear, gathered around the millionaire Hernández, suffered, for the first time in modern history, an electoral defeat. And this occurred largely as a result of a historic crisis of legitimacy of the Duque government, the fragmentation of the right and the center with the parallel unity of the left, as well as the growing politicization of the middle and popular sectors, situations whose origin is not so much the electoral situation itself, but the social explosion of 2021.
The call for national agreement and democratic capitalism
In his victory speech, President-elect Petro pointed out various elements of his political program that call for caution: first, he explained his call for the politics of love, with which he would seek to overcome the political sectarianism of the past and improve bases of understanding and dialogue between various national actors, including leaders such as Hernández, Gutiérrez and Uribe. In this sense and in indirect reference to Uribismo, he maintained that he was not going to use state power to destroy his opponents.
Secondly, and connected to the above, he outlined the proposal for a Great National Agreement that he vaguely defined as a project of unity among all the inhabitants of the country and all sectors of society in search of common national objectives. This, in search of building the maximum consensus necessary to carry out the reforms promised in his program.
Thirdly, he reiterated a conservative element of his program that he states as the defense of democratic capitalism, very present in his electoral propaganda, from which he rejected the accusation that he would expropriate the goods and properties of the country's citizens launched by the right and business elites. Thus, he defended his idea that capitalism had to be developed in Colombia, a sentence that was sadly acclaimed by his followers in the coliseum.
Repeating a very old, but still effective, political formulation of leftist reformism, Petro argued that before thinking about anti-capitalist tasks, the country had to overcome pre-modernity, feudalism, and the new slavery. He then defended the so-called economic pluralism and his commitment to democratic capitalism, "hopefully productive, hopefully not speculative", as well as the commitment to a strong productive economy that overcomes extractivism. He also mentioned the liberal formula that in order to redistribute, you must first produce.
Fourth, he reiterated his idea of environmental justice, defended his program of transition from fossil fuels, especially from oil to clean and renewable energies, protection of water as a human right, defense of the Amazon rainforest as the lung of the world and negotiation and an environmental economic pact with large polluters such as the United States.
In fifth place, he mentioned his reforms, a flag aimed at fulfilling the social promises, postponed until today, of the 1991 Constitution and called for the constitution to live and walk among the population. This would include a poorly defined agrarian reform, ensuring food for all boys and girls, free university for young people and a decent pension for the elderly population. In this section, he highlighted the leading role of youth and women in his campaign and claimed the ethnic and cultural diversity of the country, as well as a perspective of greater Latin American integration.
On the other hand, in her speech, the vice president-elect Francia Márquez, amid the exaltation of the participation of various sectors in the electoral campaign, stated that this would be a government of the people with calloused hands and of the nobody, a government of the popular sectors. However, this is still a long way off and it seems clear that this type of political representation is not in the electoral program or in Petro's intentions.
Perspectives for change in the social movement
The victory of the first center-left candidate in the republican history of the country represents a historic milestone, in which it was, until recently, the last unscathed bastion of the continental right. This great political event anticipates the end of a historical cycle marked by the hegemony of Uribismo that began in 2002 and represents an interesting example of the radicalization towards the left of the political scene, which emerged after the great national strikes of November 21, 2019 and the April 28, 2021.
In parallel, Petro's center-left candidacy is quite clear in its commitment to moderation and pragmatism, with a campaign more oriented towards the political center than that of 2018, and a clear increase in the presence of saintly and liberal elements, proximity to sectors of the Partido de la U such as Roy Barreras and even parapolitical structures such as the López clan in Sucre. The great anti-neoliberal, anti-corruption and anti-establishment front that Petro has preached without much coherence, reached a great numerical apogee but an inverse weakening of its internal consistency.
On the other hand, this will be a weak government, with a minority in Congress where at the moment it has 25 of 108 allied senators and 35 of 188 representatives in the related chamber, an even more accentuated minority in regional power where its allies control only 3 of the 32 departments. In addition, the progressive administration will be harassed by the big Uribe-inclined business press such as the majority conglomerates of El Tiempo, Semana, Caracol and RCN, and will have the open opposition of the employers' National Trade Council. At the same time, it will maintain tensions with the conservative inertia of the control organisms and important sectors of the judiciary, and the loyalty of the Security Forces committed to the anti-subversive war has yet to be deciphered. To overcome this situation,
Faced with this panorama, our task is to try to overcome the current progressive and caudillista illusion and work to deepen popular self-confidence, taking advantage of the current enthusiasm of the masses to strengthen social organization at all levels, defending the importance of breaking the culture of dependency and subordination to governments and the centrality of the principle and practice of autonomy and self-management for the popular movement. We seek to organize an anti-authoritarian overflow, from below and to the left, capable of achieving the profound social reforms that our people yearn for and that only they themselves can achieve and maintain.
Up those who fight!
Freeway Libertarian Group


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