Sergio Fajardo’s epilogue | Colombia presidential elections

Sergio Fajardo at a polling station in Medellin, Colombia.Joaquin Sarmiento (AFP)

His fourth place among the leading presidential candidates, far from slipping into the elusive second round that narrowly eluded him four years ago, signals the twilight of Sergio Fajardo’s extraordinary political career. dream Professor President, As the famous hymns say, you are not finished with curdling. The mathematician who left the academy for public service more than 20 years ago has not made the unlikely “return” that the Center for Hope coalition promised. In the end, it was a very poor fourth place, with less than 5% of the vote.

Although it is not clear at the moment whether Gustavo Petro and Rodolfo Hernandez are inclined to support any of the options in the second round on June 19, their wink is still desirable. There are several explanations for the failure of Fajardo’s third presidential ambition.

The first round ended as a race between former mayors. Gustavo Petro Bogotá (2012-2015) and Rodolfo Hernandez ruled Bucaramanga (2016-2019), while Medellin was under command at various times for Fajardo (2004-2007) and Vico Gutierrez (2016-2019). The provincial capital of Antioquia has been a source of inspiration for other Colombian cities so far this century as it has been the scene of much hailed urban renewal that served as an antidote to the violence of big drug cartels.

Fajardo, the son of a famous architect, is known as the architect of this transformation in Medellin. He left office with an 85% advantage and was named the best mayor in Colombia, with management far better than that of Fico Gutiérrez. However, he failed to display that biography. The memory of the mayor’s office seems increasingly remote, while Gutierrez has been able to maintain its popularity with a newer administration in memory, even if it doesn’t have much sparkle. Fajardo was also governor of Antioquia between 2012 and 2015, but that position does not carry much weight among Medellin residents.

The endless misunderstanding of the Center for Hope alliance during the campaign also took its toll. Opinion studies consistently indicate that the vast majority of Colombians consider themselves centrists, but the coalition has not translated this potential into voters. In the presidential election four years ago, a split of the vote between candidates Umberto de la Calle and Sergio Fajardo prevented the mathematician from making it to the second round.

The center seemed to have learned its lesson, but friendly fire was spreading. Ingrid Betancourt’s tumultuous departure to embark on a erratic solo adventure – which also ended with a last-minute rejoinder of Rodolfo Hernandez – ended up sullying the cohesion of the block. Position was always on edge, and he tried to remain a competitive option but could not unite. In the March consultations, from which Fajardo was chosen, she was the least voted among the three large coalitions. Gutierrez tripled Fajardo’s 723,000 votes, and Petro tripled them. Even Francia Marquez, despite taking second place in the historical charter, has surpassed her single voice. Fajardo started with a low floor.

Since then, Luis Gilberto Murillo has not been chosen as the formula for the vice-presidential position; Nor the arrival of the American strategist Teddy Gove, who advised Barack Obama. Neither the presence of his partner in recent days, the former foreign minister that Maria Angela Holguin cites, has been enough to bring about the shift he needs in a campaign that has tended to be polarizing. Attempts to change direction by joining Rodolfo Hernandez, the unranked independent candidate who managed to recover in recent days to slip into the second round, were also unsuccessful. With diametrically opposed forms, personalities and functions, Fajardo and Hernandez unite with an identity that revolves around the fight against corruption, as the professor noted at the time when justifying the move that did not bring anything, but was the motivation behind the engineer.

Governor of Antioch

Longing Principal teacher It’s a legacy that lost its appeal in elections. He dates back to the times of his first presidential aspiration, as he occupied the second place in the Presidency of the Republic green wave, who led Antanas Mockus in 2010 to the second round. Then they lost to Juan Manuel Santos. Halfway through that campaign, Fajardo fell off his bike and broke his left thigh, but he recovered from his physical and electoral injuries with a victory that made him governor of Antioquia.

Already in 2018, he returned to run for president. He received over 4.5 million votes in the first round and was behind only 250,000 Petro, who opposed the ballot with President Evan Duque. He had then decided to withdraw from electoral politics, but a conversation with the late economist Guillermo Pere, a close adviser, convinced him to persevere. In the meantime, he fulfilled his dream of going to see whales in the Pacific at the crucial moment, but after releasing the phrase – and choosing to vote on white – he made him the focus of Petrismo’s attacks. He also lost valuable time, while Petro has been campaigning ever since.

Along the way, Fajardo had to face two trials for his actions as ruler, reviving the shadows of the political persecution he was subjected to. At one point he had to divide his time between what he called two “campaigns”, one presidential and the other else for defence. He dealt with a process from the attorney general’s office not to expect the dollar to fluctuate on a loan and another in front of the office of the controller of Hidroituango, a project that has experienced landslides, delays and losses. The second was already closed in his favor at the beginning of this year. Fajardo insisted that he feels like a victim of politicized bodies of control, in the hands of people very close to President Duque.

Until Sunday, one of his main advisers was another famous economist, Jose Antonio Ocampo, who Petro said this week he would like to be finance minister. Ocampo responded to this public flirtation by inviting people to vote for Fajardo, but he is not the only moderate figure Petrismo has courted. Former Andean Commodore Alejandro Gaviria, Fajardo’s programmatic head after a shipwreck of his ambition, strained the alliance a few days ago by winking at Petro’s nomination in remarks to financial times. With Fajardo out of the race, the fate of the other notable center cards could tip the scales in the second round.

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