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An elderly woman at a polling station in Calì during Presidential elections in Colombia An elderly woman at a polling station in Calì during Presidential elections in Colombia  (AFP or licensors)

Colombia heads for second round runoff Presidential election

Colombia is heading for a second round runoff, in its first Presidential Election since the Peace Agreement was signed two years ago, ending five decades of Civil war.

By James Blears

With almost all of the Polling Stations now accounted for, conservative Ivan Duque of the Democratic Center Party has almost forty percent of the vote. While leftist Gustavo Petro of the Humaine Party has just over twenty five percent. Neither gained the 50 percent needed to win outright in round one.

So it's on to round two on June 17th, and in the meantime forming further strategic coalitions and alliances with smaller parties.

Duque who's a protegee of former President Alvaro Uribe pledges to reduce corporate taxes, bolster the mining and oil industries and try to jail ex rebel leaders, who are attempting to integrate into politics.

Current two term President and Nobel PEACE Prize winner, Juan Manuel Santos, who can't run for the top job again, has guaranteed the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force...formally the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, five seats in the Senate and five in the House of Representatives. Its Leader Rodrigo Londono dropped out of the Presidential race, due to heart problems resulting in major surgery.

Petro, who's himself a former urban guerrila from the disbanded M19 militant group and an ex Mayor of Bogota, wants to remové power from Colombia's governing elite, switch to renewable energy and boost agriculture with a radical re-distribution of land nationwide.

As different as chalk and cheese, offering polar opposite political idealogies, but one of these very different men, will govern the immediate future of Colombia.

Listen to James Blears' report
28 May 2018, 12:21