Insights | Raise the tone of the presidential debate in Colombia

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Raise the tone of the presidential debate in Colombia

In addition to serving for the candidates to present their government proposals, the presidential debates in Colombia allow us to foresee the tone of what the proselytizing campaign will be. It will be somewhat harsh judging by what happened recently between former mayors Rodolfo Hernández and Federico Gutiérrez.

And it is that last September 7 in the middle of a debate of the Semana Magazine led by the journalist Vicky Dávila, Rodolfo Hernández, former mayor of Bucaramanga, accused his comrades Enrique Peñalosa, Juan Carlos Echeverry, David Barguil of being corrupt and inept and Federico Gutiérrez.

“They have led the country and they have 22 million Colombians enduring hunger. They are irresponsible, taxes are not enough to pay for the privileges they installed in the Government. The corruption is impressive ”, accused Hernández.

“Of the five of us, who is the only one who has a hearing at the Prosecutor’s Office for corruption? Its you! And a person from your family is included ”, answered the mayor of Medellín Federico Gutiérrez who was supported in his answer by Enrique Peñalosa and Juan Carlos Echeverry.

In the same debate, and consulted about the polls that give Gustavo Petro as a favorite, the participants assured that the Senator of Human Colombia will not be President because he would lead the country on the same path as Venezuela.

In addition to the Semana debate, recently in the framework of the 55th edition of the Asobancaria Banking Convention, 11 presidential candidates spoke about the growth of the economy. Sergio Fajardo, Gustavo Petro and María Fernanda Cabal, who were also invited, withdrew from participating.

The debate, also characterized by taunts among the attendees, was divided into two turns. In the first one were Jorge Enrique Robledo, Rodrigo Lara, Federico Gutiérrez, Juan Carlos Echeverry and Paloma Valencia. And in the second, Alejandro Gaviria, Juan Manuel Galán, John Milton Rodríguez, Óscar Iván Zuluaga, Mauricio Cárdenas and David Barguil.

The debate focused on the proposals of the candidates to consolidate economic growth that allows the development of the country with the consequent reduction of poverty and social inequity. Although all the candidates agreed on the importance of safeguarding the institutionality and legal security, there were also criticisms regarding the method to guarantee growth.

Federico Gutiérrez -for example- said that Gustavo Petro did not attend the event “because the attendees do not believe his lies.” He also pointed out that he is not going to expropriate or print tickets, but rather that he is going to protect free enterprise and private property, and he proposed that there be hiring by the hour “without diminishing labor guarantees.”

In his speech, one of the candidates of the Democratic Center, Óscar Iván Zuluaga, who has had clashes with fellow candidates such as María Fernanda Cabal, also insisted on taking the step of dismantling and ending the 4×1000, a proposal that has already been rejected by the Government of Ivan Duque.

In addition to the debates, which will continue to take place in different media, the presidential campaign will continue to grow due to the active political negotiation around possible coalitions and the division into parties such as the Green Alliance that has not yet been defined – institutionally – which candidate you will support for the May 2022 elections.