Rodolfo rejects Fajardo’s moderate support: “They wanted to change the program that won” | Colombia presidential elections

Presidential candidate Rodolfo Hernandez, wearing the Colombian jersey, this Saturday at the football stadium in Medellin to watch a local football match.Joaquin Sarmiento (AFP)

Rodolfo Hernandez on Saturday dismissed any hint of moderation en route to Colombia’s presidency. The populist candidate had met days earlier with Sergio Fajardo, a centrist contender who had been disqualified from the presidential race, to reach some kind of agreement under which concrete, realistic policies around feminism or taxation, among other issues, would be included in his message. the program. This will not happen. “It was a compliment, but that’s over now. They want to change the whole program that won. Since our program won, we have to make ourselves respectable because it is supported by the six million Colombians who voted for our program,” Hernandez said.

The 77-year-old businessman who snuck into the second round of the election by surprise with an anti-corruption and pro-austerity rhetoric of the Colombian bureaucracy found it necessary to reject Fajardo’s offer – a center-left mathematician that for some reason tried to join Hernandez. In the first place, since rapid opinion polls put him on top of voting intentions for the June 19 elections, he gradually lost points, until he reached a technical tie with his rival, Gustavo Petro. And second, because Colombian conservatives, assembled around Fico Gutierrez, the establishment’s defeated candidate, have warned Hernandez that if he joins the moderates, he may lose his fortunes with the right, which has far more votes than the current centrist.

The decision should not be too difficult: 900,000 votes to five million. However, Hernandez questioned the legitimacy that someone like Fajardo, who in certain circles had a good reputation as an honest and respectful man, as well as his track record, could give him. In addition, one of his conditions was particularly offensive to conservatives: Hernandez had to refuse to support Uribismo. The right reacted furiously. WhatsApp was littered with messages against that agreement, which included among other points not closing Colombian embassies in the world – which Hernandez considers a redundant expense – and a sobering tax reform. Which has been introduced so far to balance the deficit of state accounts is not. In any case, Hernandez faced a dilemma and resolved it when a reporter from Caracol Televisión asked him. “It was a compliment,” he responded to Fajardo’s offer, dressed in the Colombian shirt and with some indifference. He hit it off without any kind of seriousness, despite the fact that he previously said they actually agreed to 95% of the issues.

After defeating the middle, their leaders now had to make a move. Many of the people who surrounded Fajardo, such as his second man, Luis Gilberto Murillo, joined Pietro. So did former Andean Mayor Alejandro Gaviria. But what Fajardo himself did seemed impossible. His hostility to Petro Kitabi (his followers have harassed him on social networks) has preferred an anti-system test without a clear electoral platform and an attitude toward knowledge that is completely inconsistent with his program rather than trying to reach some sort of agreement with him..a leader of the left with whom he shares a good part of electoral promises. Hernandez’s blows seemingly left him no other choice but to do the same four years ago, when he washed his hands when choosing between Pietro and the person who ended up becoming president, Evan Duque.

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