Former guerrilla Gustavo Petro wins Colombian election to become first leftist president

Former fighter in the M-19 militia beat populist business tycoon and fellow political outsider Rodolfo Hernández in runoff on Sunday

Colombia has elected a former guerrilla fighter Gustavo Petro as president, making him the South American country’s first leftist head of state.

Petro beat Rodolfo Hernández, a gaff-prone former mayor of Bucaramanga and business mogul, with 50.8% of the vote in a runoff election on Sunday and will take office in July amid a host of challenges, not least of which is the deepening discontent over inequality and rising costs of living. Hernández had 47.27%, with almost all ballots counted, according to results released by election authorities.

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