Last Sunday, Colombians went to the polls to participate in parliamentary and presidential primary elections. Gustavo Petro won the leftwing Pacto Histórico primary with 4.4 million votes, the most in Colombian primary history. Federico ‘Fico’ Gutiérrez consolidated his presidential bid by winning the center-right Equipo por Colombia primary with 2.1 million votes. Sergio Fajardo from the center-left Centro Esperanza coalition won the primary with 723,000 votes.
No coalition or political party obtained a majority in either chamber of Congress. Of a possible 102 seats in the Senate and 166 seats in the House of Representatives, Pacto Histórico will carry 16 and 27 seats, respectively. Former President Álvaro Uribe’s Centro Democrático lost seats in both chambers, falling from 19 to 14 seats in the Senate and 32 to 15 seats in the House. Similarly, two center-right parties, Partido de la U and Cambio Radical, lost seats in both chambers. Meanwhile, the Centro Esperanza and Alianza Verde coalition won 14 seats in the Senate. In the House of Representatives, Centro Esperanza will receive two seats and Alianza Verde will receive 11 seats. Colombia’s two traditional parties, Partido Conservador and Partido Liberal, managed to maintain their influence in Congress. In the next session, Partido Liberal will have 15 Senators and 32 Representatives, and Partido Conservador will have 16 Senators and 25 Representatives. Colombians will return to the polls on May 29 to cast their presidential ballots. If no candidate receives a majority of votes, the two highest polling candidates will face off on June 19 in a presidential runoff.