Audiences across Colombia captivated by Fajardo’s one person debate

The 61-year mathematician and presidential candidate of the center-left movement Compromiso Ciudadano, Sergio Fajardo, was left standing alone on a stage in Bogotá after the other four official candidates failed to turn up.

In an widely-publicized debate hosted by journalist Vicky Dávila of WRadio, Fajardo for more than an hour dazzled a small audience at the Hacienda Santa Bárbara shopping complex with his answers, as well as millions of viewers who streamed-in via social media to witness a one person debate. Dávila was clearly annoyed that candidates Iván Duque, Gustavo Petro, Humberto de la Calle and Germán Vargas Lleras didn’t “honor their word” to make a public appearance and one of the last  before millions of Colombians cast votes in Sunday’s first post-conflict elections.

After giving the former mayor of Medellín and governor of Antioquia abundant air and radio time to present his political platform, Dávila remarked: “I have never revealed my vote, but today, given your sincerity, my vote goes to you.”

As a widely respected educator who has made the expansion of social welfare programs a pillar of his campaign, Fajardo admitted that there is “fatigue among the candidates.” The journalist added, however, that she is convinced “Colombians are tired of being lied to, of the same old people, of a lack of honesty.”

On Thursday evening, the five candidates attended a televised debate organized by El Tiempo newspaper and Citytv and on Friday night, the candidates are expected to appear on one of the leading television networks Caracol Television.

Fajardo has been trailing frontrunners Iván Duque of Centro Democrático and socialist Gustavo Petro of Colombia Humana. According to the most recent Yanhass poll, the 41-year old Bogotá economist Iván Duque of far-right Centro Democrático leads with 35% of voting intention followed by 26% in favor of the former Mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro. The poll puts Sergio Fajardo third (14%), and Germán Vargas Lleras of the center-right Cambio Radical with 6%.

However, after Friday’s one person debate, Fajardo may see his numbers increase dramatically.