Independent candidate Enrique Peñalosa clinched the mayoralty of Bogotá, Sunday, October 25th, an hour after voting booths closed at 4:00 pm local time.
Peñalosa will be sworn in for his four-year term on January 1st, 2016, and his victory closes 12 years of the socialist POLO Democrático party governance for this capital city of 8 million.
Colombians elected 32 governors and 1,100 mayors Sunday in a peaceful round of elections.
Enrique Peñalosa first held the post of Mayor of Bogotá from 1998 to 2001 and is credited for having transformed the city on key issues such as security, the environment and mobility.
Peñalosa earned a degree from Duke University in History and Economics and has held several important government posts, from Economic Secretary to former president Virgilio Barco (1986) to Congressman and Director of the Colombian Institute of Savings and Housing, before he was elected Mayor of Bogotá.
During Peñalosa’s first mayorship, major infrastructure projects were implemented such as the TransMilenio mass transit system, as well as consolidating the extensive bicycle paths network Cicloruta and Sunday Ciclovía.
Peñalosa is a staunch advocate of creating public spaces within the city. As mayor he established a system of public libraries, expanded access to schools for those in vulnerable neighborhoods and promoted social inclusion through healthcare reform.
At 5:30 pm, the future mayor of Bogotá addressed his supporters and reaffirmed his commitment to restore the public’s confidence in the city and follow-through on his election agenda which includes expanding the TM network, giving Bogotanos a metro system and getting tough on crime.
”We will feel proud of our city, for Colombia and for the world.”
“We will work together, and together we will make this city the city we deserve,” he said Sunday. “We will feel proud of our city, for Colombia and for the world.”
Liberal candidate Rafael Pardo congratulated Peñalosa on his win, stating that Bogotá was “in good hands.”
With 99,6% of total votes counted by National Registry Office at 6 pm, Peñalosa won with 903,477 votes (33,1%), Pardo with 777,772 (28,5%) and Clara López 498,546 (18,2%) and Francisco Santos 327,717 (12%).