BOGOTA – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Friday said that he will telephone the winner of the presidential runoff between right-winger Ivan Duque and leftist Gustavo Petro as soon as the results are released.
Noting that polls will close at 4:00 pm Sunday, the outgoing head of state said that he expected to be able to make the call by 5:30 pm.
Santos, who is nearing the end of his second four-year term as president, said that he is leaving Colombia with “a more solid economy.
He also pointed to Colombia’s recent admission to the prestigious Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and to the Andean nation’s designation as a global partner of NATO.
Colombia is “less unequal” than when he took office, Santos said, and the government does a better job of protecting the rights of minorities.
His administration can likewise take credit for having launched a “silent revolution in infrastructure,” the president said.
Santos praised electoral authorities for organizing the “most secure and transparent” elections in Colombian history.
More than 36.2 million Colombians are eligible to cast ballots on Sunday to choose between Petro and Duque, who leads the polls by anywhere from 9 to 20 percentage points.
The new president is to take office Aug. 7.