Controversial Vote Leaves Little Change in Colombia Congress

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Amid numerous controversies in the voting process, Colombians went to the polls Sunday to election 166 legislators to the House of Representatives and 102 senators.

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While these elections were meant to be groundbreaking in that the FARC made their debut and left-of-center candidates are polling high for the upcoming presidential elections, the results gave a majority of seats to candidates fromt right-wing parties.

For the House of Representatives, the parties with the most votes were the Liberal Party (PLC), the Democratic Center (CD) of Alvaro Uribe and the Radical Change (CR) party.

The CD, CR and the Conservative Party (PC) finished with the most votes for the Senator races.

With 16.59 percent, the Liberals maintain the highest number of representatives in the lower house with 35 seats, while in the Senate it lost 3 seats, finishing with 12.4 percent and 14 senators.

The far-right CD increased its vote to 16.05 percent and 32 seats in House of Representatives, as well as 16.42 percent and 19 spots in the Senate, making the Uribe-led party the largest in the upper house.

The Radical Change party also performed well with 14.39 percent and 32 representatives in the House of Representatives and 16 senators along with 14.04 percent of those votes.

 

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Colombia Elections Results
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New left-wing coalitions, including the Decent Colombia coalition which included the Democratic Pole and the Patriotic Union, gained seats, but remain minorities in both houses.

Despite a slight uptick in turnout, abstention remained high throughout the country with 53 percent abstention for the Senate vote and 52.4 percent for the House of Representatives.

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According to some analysts, the legislative elections provide insight into the tendencies for upcoming presidential elections in Colombia. Left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro, who has been riding high in the polls despite an intense campaign against him, easily won the primaries for his coalition while Uribe-backed Senator Ivan Duque topped his opponent from the Conservative party by over 40 points.

The electoral process has been criticized however due to numerous irregularities, including the running out of ballots as well as videos of alleged vote buying.



Source

Latin America News

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