Surprisingly, Gustavo Petro, the socialist president of Colombia, said Wednesday that he will not seek re-election once his term ends in 2026.
"The day we leave ... Because we are not going to stay there," said the president from the iconic Plaza Bolívar in the center of Bogotá, the capital of Colombia.
On Wednesday hundreds of people gathered in Plaza Bolívar in a demonstration in favor of the socialist government. For this reason, Petro gave the speech in which he said that he hopes that a "progressive" government will succeed him.
"I hope a progressive government is elected to continue the path we are tracing and deepen it," he said.
"That palace is very ugly, cold, frozen. Ugly. We are not going to stay there. There are people who like to stay there. I don't understand why. It is scary there," Petro added.
"Ojalá el día que nos vayamos de ese Palacio, que ahí no nos vamos a quedar porque es feo y frío; ese día que salgamos, ojalá otro gobierno progresista nos suceda": presidente Gustavo Petro.
— Revista Semana (@RevistaSemana) September 27, 2023
Although today the president of Colombia cannot be re-elected, because re-election is not in the Constitution, Petro raised the possibility on several occasions, proposing constitutional reform that would allow him to continue in power beyond 2026.
For now, that option is not on the table.
However, Petro assured in front of his supporters that if there were elections again in Colombia, he would win.
Petro's victory in the prior election has been in doubt due to the multiple scandals surrounding the financing of his campaign and the possible purchase of votes.
The president's own son, Nicolás Petro, told the Prosecutor's Office that well-known Colombian drug traffickers had financed, with hundreds of thousands of dollars, the socialist's presidential campaign.
Also, in some leaked audio clips, the former Colombian ambassador to Venezuela, Armando Benedetti, referred to vote purchasing on the Colombian Caribbean coast.