Gavarro Petro to be Colombia's first leftist president

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Gavarro Petro to be Colombia's first leftist president

After winning the presidential runoff election on June 19, 2022, Colombian President Gustavo Petro celebrates at Movistar Arena in Bogota on June 19, 2022. DANIEL MUNOZ AFP BOGOTA Gustavo Petro will become Colombia's first leftist president, elected by voters who hope he can carry out ambitious social and economic reforms that will reduce violence and deep inequality in the polarized Andean country.

Petro, a former member of the M - 19 guerrillas, is set to be inaugurated on Sunday afternoon in Bogota's Bolivar Plaza.

Senate president Roy Barreras will swear him in front of 100,000 people, including Spanish King Felipe VI, at least nine Latin American presidents and regular Colombians invited by Petro.

Afro-Colombian woman will be the first woman to hold a post, according to a new vice-president, Francia Marquez.

Petro, a 62-year-old former senator, said his first priority will be action to fight hunger in the country of 50 million, where nearly half of the population lives in some kind of poverty.

A $5.8 billion tax reform, which would raise the duties on high earners to fund social programs, will be proposed to Congress on Monday by Finance Minister Jose Antonio Ocampo.

I'm also nervous about becoming President, Petro told students at his alma mater Externado University in Bogota when asked about the challenges he faces.

ALSO READ: Xi congratulates Petro on his election as Colombian president.

Petro has pledged free public university education and healthcare changes and created a broad congressional coalition of leftist and centrist parties to pass his platform.

The promises of pension reform and a halt to new oil development have caused investor jitters despite the appointment of Ocampo, a long-time official.

A former mayor of Bogota, the new president, has promised to revive the scuppered peace negotiations with the National Liberation Army ELN rebels and apply a 2016 peace deal to ex-members of the FARC guerrillas who oppose it.

READ MORE: Colombians go to the polls in the presidential election.

His foreign minister said the government would hold a dialogue with gangs and possibly give members reduced sentences in exchange for information about drug trafficking.

The sword of Latin American liberation hero Simon Bolivar - stolen in 1974 by Petro's erstwhile M - 19 comrades - will be displayed in the plaza.

Petro told the students that they all have to wish each other good luck.