Iván Duque faces tough challenges as Colombia’s new president

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Issues include shoring up peace process and dealing with neighbouring Venezuela

Gideon Long in Bogotá

When Iván Duque, is sworn in on Tuesday, he will be confronted by a daunting collection of challenges. Colombia’s new president faces the task of shoring up an increasingly shaky peace process, defusing tensions with neighbouring Venezuela, curbing cocaine production, fighting corruption and reigniting a tepid economy.

The 42-year-old rightwinger, the country’s youngest elected leader in more than a century, won last month’s presidential election comfortably but has just four years of political experience as a senator and is something of an unknown quantity.

“He faces a huge challenge,” said Sergio Guzmán, an independent political analyst in Bogotá. “He won’t be able to make radical changes on all fronts so he’s going to have pick and choose which battles he fights. I think the peace process, rural development and the fight against drugs are going to be his key priorities.”