With the impulse of the votes of Gustavo Petro and Francia Márquez, the Historical Pact is positioned as one of the first forces of the next Congress of the Republic, with an unprecedented representation for the left in Colombia. The list of the motley coalition was positioned this Sunday night as the largest bench in the Senate, along with the two most traditional parties, the Liberal and the Conservative, when the count was already close to 98% of the votes in the legislative elections. With this result, the Registrar’s Office in its preliminary projections assigned 16 of the 108 seats, the same to the Conservatives and one more than the Liberals (15). They are followed by another alternative force, the list of the Hope Center Coalition, which includes the Green Alliance, with 14 seats, the same as the diminished Democratic Center, the government party founded by former president Álvaro Uribe.
Also in the 188-seat House of Representatives, which is organized by regional constituencies, the Historical Pact emerged as the most voted force, although behind the Liberals in number of seats (32 versus 25). “In a good part of the country we are the first place in the Chamber”, claimed Petro in the proclamation speech of him as the candidate of the leftist coalition, which he obtained with more than four million votes, highlighting the territorial scope of his political project. . “We are the first force in the Senate of the Republic… the Historical Pact has achieved the best result of progressivism in the history of the Republic of Colombia,” he added. “We’re ad portas to win in the first presidential round”, he concluded victoriously.
It has been a huge leap for the former mayor of Bogotá, who has been campaigning for four years. In 2018, when he lost in the second round against President Iván Duque, he barely managed to locate three senators. The advance of the alternative forces, marked also in the case of the Hope Center Coalition by the candidacy of former peace negotiator Humberto de la Calle, contrasts with the decline of the Democratic Center, which is no longer the main party in the current Senate, with 19 seats, to be the fifth with those 14 places. His fall illustrates the decline of the hegemony of Uribismo, the political creed created around Uribe, the great elector of 2018, who resigned his seat to deal with the accusations of witness tampering that he faces in court. .
With the robust caucus of the Historical Pact, recognized figures from the left such as María José Pizarro, Iván Cepeda or Piedad Córdoba will return to Congress. “We have the expectation of not being opposition. We want to be a government bench, and it is going to imply a huge challenge“, Pizarro told EL PAÍS last month, alluding to how the Historical Pact should think of the parliamentary exercise in another way. “There is a bet in terms of gender, to defend a space for youth, to materialize many of the proposals that we bring as a collective project. All the reforms that are required, to health, pension, etc. ”, explained the second line of the list, only behind congressman Gustavo Bolívar.
Two of the lists that had aroused the most expectations among political commentators, that of the New Liberalism and that of We Are Ready, did not exceed the threshold necessary to obtain representation in the Senate. The New Liberalism, the party of the assassinated political leader Luis Carlos Galán, was reborn last year due to a ruling by the Constitutional Court, and did win a single seat in the Chamber with the former director of National Parks Julia Mirada, who raises the environmental flags. We are ready, on the other hand, was the commitment of the feminist movement to bring its own representatives to the legislature.
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The Congress of the Republic, which until now has been leaning to the right, has been losing credibility, reaching an 85% negative image in the measurements of the Invamer firm. With this unpopularity as a backdrop, the legislative elections had an air of a very marked presidential campaign, overshadowed by the consultations of the three great blocks of the left, center and right to define their candidates: Historical Pact (Petro), Coalition Center Hope ( Sergio Fajardo) and Team for Colombia (Federico Gutiérrez). However, the new composition of the Senate and the House of Representatives will be key to the governability of the next president, who is voted on in a first round on May 29. The legislature will play a crucial role either as an ally or as a counterweight.
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