Colombia 2022 Elections: Centrist Revolution is on its Way
Many elections in Latin America have resulted in the collapse of moderate, centrist ideology as people seem more inclined to either extreme in these countries.
This stands true for Chile, Peru, and Brazil, where centrist politicians failed to make a mark in the latest elections.
However, the trends seem to be broken in the upcoming Colombia elections, as the victory for centrists seems imminent in the May 2022 elections.
A Centrist Revolution is on its Way in Colombia in 2022
Experts believe that in the elections of May 2022, the events of the 2018 Colombia elections are likely to happen, but in the opposite direction.
In 2018, Iván Duque, the extreme right-wing candidate, defeated the populist leftist politician Gustavo Petro in a relatively one-sided election by grabbing 56 percent of votes compared to 44 percent against him.
However, this time, Petro, who has become a relatively centrist candidate, is leading all polls by a massive margin, as he is enjoying the support of almost 42% of voters compared to the 19% which his opposition enjoys.
This time, pollsters believe that Petro would break all odds and trends to emerge as the centrist winner in the Colombia elections, which is against every persisting trend.
It is widely perceived that Petro lost the 2018 elections due to his own fears, which gave Duque leverage against him.
However, this time, his candidacy looks stronger than in earlier times. Alvaro Uribe Velez, the former president of Colombia who left office in 2010, has lost much of his charm and charisma, which he used to attract voters toward himself in earlier elections.
Popular Uprising Makes Incumbents Bid Weaker in Colombia
While the incumbent government has struggled to impress voters, primarily due to the violent protests, Petro has been campaigning for a long time, which has paved his way toward the highest office this year.
Reportedly, he is campaigning on the right issues at the right time, and during his time as a senator in the country, he has done his homework on almost all fronts.
However, he still has some challenges ahead of him, as 43 percent of voters did not show any preference in recent polls. This signifies that they are swing voters who can decide the course of Colombian elections in May 2022.
A crackdown against protests could cost the incumbent government their next elections, as the government failed to engage with the protestors and launched a crackdown against them.
With multiple killings, many human rights watchdogs issued warnings against the government; however, it failed to course-correct.
Now, as Sergio Fajardo and five other candidates have forced a center-left coalition named “coalition of hope,” all of them are likely to contest each other in the primary elections.
Similarly, the “coalition of experience,” the center-right alliance, also united five presidential nominees who will also face each other in primary elections. Thus, this game of coalition-making is helping Petro strengthen his campaign, which is intensifying his presidential ambitions in parallel. He is likely to face either the candidate of center-left or center-right in the final run-off elections of Colombia in May 2022.
Columbians Want Change so They Could Choose a Centrist Candidate
Experts believe that Colombians are fed up with gang violence; they are seeking a change in the political ideology of the country, which increases the probability of centrist wings.
Similarly, they are also seeking better education policies and a significant uptick in the economy. However, most of the voters probably do not know that the protectionist economic policies of Petro are unlikely to achieve the economic growth which most voters are currently envisioning.
Now Petro has almost everything he needs to inspire Colombians. While the leftists and rightists have very slim chances of winning the polls, they can make a shocking comeback if they successfully manage to lure most of the swing voters by building their campaign against the economic agenda of Petro.
As middle-class voters, for the most part, do not resonate with Petro in Colombia, only this portion of the general public can stop the centrist government from coming into the country.