Colombia’s Local Elections Deal a Heavy Blow to Petro

Colombia’s Local Elections Deal a Heavy Blow to Petro
Colombian President Gustavo Petro votes in local and regional elections in Bogota, Colombia, Oct. 29, 2023 (AP photo by Ivan Valencia).

Colombian President Gustavo Petro had seen the polls ahead of Sunday’s local elections. He knew some of the candidates he had backed were faltering. But when the votes were counted, the results were much worse for the president than almost anyone expected.

The outcome was such a decisive setback for Petro-aligned figures and so favorable for his critics that the elections, widely seen as a referendum on his performance, looked like a rebuke of his presidency.

The voters’ message was unmistakable—and unmistakably grim for the president.

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