First president on left of Colombia, Gustavo Petro plays opening

The first appointments of the new cabinet helped to describe the political climate and reassure economic environments.


“I still find it hard to believe,” admits Eleonor, 76, contemplating the place of Bolivar, in Bogota, where the inauguration ceremony of the first left president of the country’s history is prepared . Elected on June 19 of a short majority, Gustavo Petro, 62, is due to take office on Sunday August 7. In a country marked by deep social inequalities and years of violence, the hope of the change it embodies is immense. The challenges that await it too. “The budgetary situation and the level of debt are even more critical than we imagined,” warned the team responsible for the transition with the outgoing government of Ivan Duque (right).

m. Petro came from the radical left: he was a guerrilla in his youth, before becoming a deputy, senator, then mayor of Bogota. Long perceived as a sectarian man, he has multiplied since his election of conciliatory words and opening gestures. The future head of state today collects nearly 65 % of favorable opinions. The mediocre assessment of M. Duque, who, since his election in 2018, has not engaged in any size reform, contributes to the popularity of his successor.

Gustavo Petro wants to fight poverty, engaging his country on the path of sustainable development and building a “total peace”. He said he was open to dialogue with his political adversaries as much as with the armed groups that are rampant in the country. His call to national unity has been well received. At the congress, the center and part of the right agreed to reach the left coalition of the historic pact. Gustavo Petro will therefore have a large parliamentary majority at the start of the mandate. Within traditional elites and in part of opinion, “Petrophobia” and the fear of seeing the country “sink into socialism” remain important. But the hard right, ousted from the second round, has no more leader.

“The arrival of a left -wing government in a country that has never known alternation causes a certain stress in society, which wonders if Gustavo Petro will know how to govern, if the army will leave it Doing, if violence will finally give in, “explains analyst Jorge Ivan Cuervo. Gustavo Petro has appointed his main collaborators. A 79 -year -old curator, Alvaro Leyva, tireless defender of peace negotiations with armed movements, will occupy the Ministry of External Relations. Three ex-liberal ministers were appointed to finance, agriculture and education.

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/Media reports.