33 million eligible to vote in Colombia elections

Posted on Apr 16 2014 - 9:18am by Today News
(Photo: Registraduría Nacional)

Nearly 33 million people in Colombia are eligible to vote in the upcoming presidential elections, reported the country’s National Registry on Tuesday night.

In a subsequent Twitter post, the Registry announced that it would have nearly 90,000 tables across more than 10,000 polling stations around the country.

According to Colombia’s El Espectador newspaper, of the nearly 33 million Colombians that are registered to vote, approximately 17.1 million are women and 15.8 million are men.


The race is on

Colombia’s presidential elections will take place on May 25, with incumbent president Juan Manuel Santos, seeking reelection for a second term.

FACT SHEET: Colombia 2014 presidential election candidates

In a recently released poll, Santos dropped 8 points in the race to be reelected president in this year’s elections.

The incumbent president went from 31% to 23% whilst his main competitors all saw gains, according to a poll by Cifras & Conceptos in the last week of March.

While Santos is still ahead of his closest rivals, his aim of being reelected in the first round of the elections scheduled for May looks increasingly difficult and unlikely as the blank protest vote overtook Santos as leader in the race.

Furthermore the unpopularity of Santos has increased. In February 63% of respondents said they would not vote for Santos. That figure has now risen to 70% who are against his reelection.

MORE: Santos loses ground, election to be decided in 2nd round: Poll

The rival candidate who saw the biggest gains was the Green Alliance’s candidate, Enrique Peñalosa, a former Bogota mayor, who saw an increase of 4 points rising from 9% to 13%.

Meanwhile, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, the candidate of former President Alvaro Uribe’s Democratic Center party rose to 11% from 8%.

Also on the ballot are Marta Lucia Ramirez of the Conservative Party, and Clara Lopez, of the Democratic Pole/Patriotic Union.

Santos still ahead

Although Santos was the only candidate to loose ground he remains well ahead of his rivals. What is of most significance therefore is the increase in the blank protest vote which is 3 points ahead of the incumbent president on 26%.

MORE: The blank vote explained: Colombia’s biggest electoral gamble

Where there to be a runoff with Peñalosa, the presidential candidate with most votes behind Santos, blank votes would take 39% of the vote, Santos, 26% and Peñalosa 19%.

This most recent poll suggests that it is unlikely any candidate will win in the first round of the election scheduled for May and the result will be decided in a second round runoff.


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