Gustavo Petro sweeps Colombia election primaries

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Gideon Long in Bogotá

Leftwinger Gustavo Petro won an emphatic victory in a Colombian primary election on Sunday, confirming he is the man to beat in this year’s presidential vote, while his coalition did well in legislative elections and will be one of the biggest blocs in the next parliament.

With just over 99 per cent of votes counted in the leftwing primary, Petro had taken over 80 per cent of the vote in a contest between five candidates. He will now go on to the first round of the presidential election on May 29 and most opinion polls suggest he is favourite to win.

“This is the best result for progressives in the history of Colombia,” the former guerrilla told supporters on Sunday night. “We’re on the verge of winning the presidency of Colombia in the first round.”