Ivan Duque is Colombia’s president after succeeding one of his former mentors, Juan Manuel Santos, as head of state on August 7, 2018.
Duque is a dynasty politician who has become a close ally of hard-right former President Alvaro Uribe after his initial career was kick-started by another dynasty politician, former President Juan Manuel Santos.
As head of state, Duque vowed to base his policy on “legality, entrepreneurship and equity” and has called in experienced executives, other dynasty politicians and personal friends of Uribe to run the country until 2022.
Born the son of a former governor, mining minister and Liberal Party mogul, Duque was groomed for a career in politics since he was young.
Before finishing his law study at the elite Sergio Arboleda university in Bogota, Duque became the assistant of President Juan Manuel Santos when he was the finance minister of former President Andres Pastrana.
When Pastrana was succeeded by Uribe in 2002, Santos sent Duque to Washington DC where he became the chief of the culture department of the Inter-American Development Bank after fellow-Colombian Luis Aberto Moreno was elected director.
While working at the IDB, Duque studied law at Georgetown and public policy at the American University. The candidate has claimed he also obtained a masters degree at Harvard, but this was denied by the university.
In 2011, Duque began working closely with Uribe as the assistant of a UN panel investigating an Israeli attack on activists bringing supplies to the West Bank.
When Uribe took part in congressional elections with his newly-founded Democratic Center Party, Duque was elected senator in 2014.
The politician almost immediately became one of the moderate voices in the “Uribista” party that had attracted politicians ranging from moderate conservatives to far-right radicals.
In Congress, Duque was extremely vocal regarding economic issues, being one of the main critics of the National Development Plan of the second four-year period of President Santos.
Nevertheless, Duque did not become a well-known figure until after he resigned from the senate in 2017 and was handpicked by Uribe to lead the party’s efforts to regain control over the country’s most important office.
Duque’s favorability rating
Source: Colombia Reports Data
In an attempt to gather the support of dissident Conservative Party politicians, Duque agreed to let Marta Lucia Ramirez be his running mate for a coalition of political forces that have opposed a peace deal with the FARC.
This was formalized after primaries were held in March 2018. The two won both the first and the second round of the 2018 presidential elections.
Duque was formally inaugurated as president on August 7, 2018.