Leading candidate for Colombian president 'once called himself a follower of Adolf Hitler': NYT
Portrait dated 1938 of German Nazi Chancellor Adolf Hitler. (AFP)

On Tuesday, The New York Times reported on the stunning upset that just took place in Colombia's presidential election, where the second-place spot in the runoff was unexpectedly taken by a Trump-like businessman who has praised Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler as a "great German thinker."

"For months, pollsters predicted that Gustavo Petro, a former rebel-turned-senator making a bid to be the nation’s first leftist president, would head to a June presidential runoff against Federico Gutiérrez, a conservative establishment candidate who had argued that a vote for Mr. Petro amounted to 'a leap into the void,'" reported Julie Turkewitz. "Instead, on Sunday, voters gave the top two spots to Mr. Petro and Rodolfo Hernández, a former mayor and wealthy businessman with a populist, anti-corruption platform whose outsider status, incendiary statements and single-issue approach to politics have earned him comparisons to Donald Trump."

"Mr. Hernández once called himself a follower of Adolf Hitler, has suggested combining major ministries to save money, and says that as president he plans to declare a state of emergency to deal with corruption, leading to fears that he could shut down Congress or suspend mayors," said the report. Specifically, he once referred to Hitler as a "great German thinker" of which he was a "follower" — although he later claimed he had actually meant to say Albert Einstein.

"Yo soy seguidor de un gran pensador alemán, Adolfo Hitler":Rodolfo Hernández|22/agosto/2016|RCN. www.youtube.com

Furthermore, many experts believe that Hernández is the favorite to win the second round.

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"Many political analysts believe that the roughly 8.5 million votes Mr. Petro got on Sunday is his ceiling, and that many of Mr. Gutiérrez’s five million votes will be added to the six million Mr. Hernández received," said the report.

This comes as far-right populism faces a test around the world, with mixed results. Hungarian strongman Viktor Orban recently won re-election handily with Trump's endorsement, although French far-right figure Marine Le Pen was soundly defeated for the second time in the most recent French presidential election.

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