Two months before the first round of the Colombian presidential election on May 27 in which 36 million citizens are eligible to vote, a poll released Thursday from the Centro Nacional de Consultoría (National Consulting Center) shows a decisive lead by Iván Duque, the right-wing candidate of Centro Democrático party. According to the CNC, Duque has 45,9% of voting intention, followed by the former mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro, of Colombia Humana party (26%). The CNC released the results Thursday on the CM & news network. Independent candidate Sergio Fajardo of Coalición Colombia came in third (13%), and Germán Vargas Lleras of Cambio Radical, fourth (6%).
The poll was conducted between March 16 and 22 and has a margin of error of 3,4%.
This is the third poll after the March 11 congressional elections that gives Duque a wide margin over the socialist politician Petro. Polls conducted by YanHaas and Invamer mid-March also show Duque as a clear favorite to win the May 27 elections, that could result in a run-off vote on June 17. The 41-year old lawyer and senator has the support of former President Álvaro Uribe.
The son of Antioqueño politician Iván Duque Escobar, who held the post of Minister of Mines under the presidency of Belisario Betancur and was elected governor of Antioquia, Duque studied law at the Bogotá-based Sergio Arboleda University before earning a master’s degree in international law from American University and another in Public Administration from Georgetown.
Duque joined public service as a consultant to the Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and advisor to President Juan Manuel Santos when he was Minister of Finance in the Andrés Pastrana government. During Uribe’s two-term administration, Duque worked with Roberto Junguito in the National Treasury before heading to Washington to join the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He worked at the IDB for more than a decade in charge of cultural affairs, creative clusters and promoting the “orange economy” of tertiary industries. During his time at the IDB, Colombian Luis Alberto Moreno was president of the bank.
In 2014, he was elected Senator of the Centro Democrático party and is a vocal supporter of Uribe’s economic and security policies.