CONTENT PREVIEW
Country Risk

Multi-party coalition likely to support Colombian president-elect, supporting fiscal reform but tempering hostility to FARC peace accord

18 June 2018

Key Points

  • Incoming president Iván Duque is likely to form a multi-party coalition similar to the outgoing National Unity coalition of President Juan Manuel Santos, leading to a stable government.
  • The coalition is likely to broadly support the government’s economic indicatives of tax cuts, tax-evasion reduction, and limited austerity.
  • Coalition allies are likely to be more guarded in supporting anti-corruption initiatives, particularly if they threaten vested interests.
  • Duque will likely struggle to implement significant amendments to the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC) peace agreement if his coalition includes the Conservative Party (Conservador Colombiano: CC), Liberal Party (Partido Liberal), and the Radical Change (Cambio Radical: CR) party, as appears likely.

Event

On 17 June, Colombian’s voted in the second round of the presidential election between Democratic Centre (Centro Democrático: CD) candidate Iván Duque and Colombia Humana candidate Gustavo Petro.

Iván Duque delivers a speech after his presidential election victory in Bogotá, Colombia, on 17 June 2018. (Sergio Felipe Garcia Hernandez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)Iván Duque delivers a speech after his presidential election victory in Bogotá, Colombia, on 17 June 2018. (Sergio Felipe Garcia Hernandez/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Results published by the Registraduría Nacional del Estado Civil indicate that Iván Duque secured 54% of the vote versus 41.8% for Gustavo Petro. Duque will take office on 7 August. The Democratic Centre (Centro Democrático) party, which secured 35 of 171 Lower House and 19 of 107 Upper House seats respectively is short of a majority and will need to form a coalition government to avoid the limitations of legislating by decree. Following the first round of the presidential election, Duque received endorsements from the Liberal Party (Partido Liberal: PL) and the Radical Change (Cambio Radical: CR) party (although a small minority of their representatives are rebelling and will go into opposition), alongside existing support from the Conservative Party (Conservador Colombiano: CC) and the Independent Movement of Absolute Renovation (Movimiento Independiente de Renovación Absoluta: MIRA) party, and his party is now negotiating with these parties to form a grand coalition. This would likely leave two opposition blocks; a left-wing coalition led by defeated presidential candidate Petro and a centrist coalition of consisting of the Party of the U (Partido de la U) and PL and CR rebels.

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