As much enthusiasm as there has been for Mockus recently, I cannot say I was shocked by the results. In my opinion, he is definitely the candidate for change, and I am not sure Colombians are ready for those changes. They like how things have been, they like Alvaro Uribe, the incumbent president, and they approve of his administration - an administration which Santos has been a part of for a long time. The second election will decide for sure, but from yesterday's vote it seems Colombians prefer continuity to change.
One woman interviewed by the BBC really summarized these sentiments:
Standing outside the polling booths in the Bogota neighbourhood of Chapinero, Martha Solano looked pensive after casting her vote. "Up until a few days ago I had thought I was going to vote for Mockus, as I like him and I think he is an honest politician and we have few enough of those," she explained. "But voting for him is a leap of faith and I decided better the devil you know and ticked the Santos box."Since the second election will be on June 20, that means the last weekend I am in Colombia (aka the weekend after our last day with students) will be another dry weekend. Lame.
For further reading on the election results:
- Washington Times, Colombian Presidential Vote Set for June Runoff
- CBS, Colombia Runoff: Ex Defense Minister vs. Mockus
- Boston Globe, FARC foe will Face Runoff in Colombia
- Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), Ex defense minster dominates presidential vote, faces Green Party outsider in runoff