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First Past the Peace: Colombia's Presidential Election

First Past the Peace: Colombia's Presidential Election

This Sunday, Colombians go to the polls in the first presidential election since a controversial peace deal ended half a century of conflict with the leftist guerrillas of the FARC.


The candidate topping polls at the moment is the youthful Ivan Duque (pictured above), a security-oriented, business-friendly lawmaker from the right who has criticized the peace deal for being too lenient. Duque is backed by hardline former President Alvaro Uribe, who is still a political kingmaker in the country.

Duque’s nearest challenger is Gustavo Petro, a left wing former mayor of the capital, Bogota, who once belonged to a guerrilla group. Petro’s program takes square aim at inequality, with higher taxes on land and companies, and seeks to wean the Colombian economy from its dependence on oil and coal.

Both men are pitching a kind of change to the Colombian people — for Duque that means taking a harder line on security than current President Juan Manuel Santos. Petro, for his part, represents a broader repudiation of the center-right political class that has traditionally run the country.

The ideological gulf between the two men atop the polls speaks to the extraordinary polarization of Colombian society as the country deals with the challenges of peace, corruption, economic growth and, now, an influx of Venezuelan refugees that is straining infrastructure and nerves.

If no one wins more than 50 percent on Sunday, a runoff would be held in June.

Khant Thaw Htoo is a young engineer who works in Eni's Sakura Tower office in the heart of Yangon. As an HSE engineer, he monitors the safety and environmental impact of onshore and offshore operations. He also looks out for his parents' well-being, in keeping with Myanmar's traditions.

Learn more about Khant in the final episode of the Faces of Eni series, which focuses on Eni's employees around the world.

Over the weekend, some 40,000 Russians braved subzero temperatures to turn out in the streets in support of imprisoned Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny. More than 3,000 protesters were arrested, and Navalny called on his followers to prepare for more action in the coming weeks.

But just who is Alexei Navalny, and how significant is the threat that he may pose to Vladimir Putin's stranglehold on power in Russia?

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take (part 1):

Ian Bremmer here, happy Monday. And have your Quick Take to start off the week.

Maybe start off with Biden because now President Biden has had a week, almost a week, right? How was it? How's he doing? Well, for the first week, I would say pretty good. Not exceptional, but not bad, not bad. Normal. I know everyone's excited that there's normalcy. We will not be excited there's normalcy when crises start hitting and when life gets harder and we are still in the middle of a horrible pandemic and he has to respond to it. But for the first week, it was okay.

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Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

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Even as vaccines roll out around the world, COVID-19 is continuing to spread like wildfire in many places, dashing hopes of a return to normal life any time soon. Some countries, like Israel and the UK for instance, have been praised for their inoculation drives, while still recording a high number of new cases. It's clear that while inoculations are cause for hope, the pace of rollouts cannot keep up with the fast-moving virus. Here's a look at the countries that have vaccinated the largest percentages of their populations so far – and a snapshot of their daily COVID caseloads (7-day rolling average) in recent weeks.

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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