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Opponents of peace do well in Colombian congressional vote

COLOMBIA’S weekend legislative elections failed to produce a majority for any party, but opponents of the peace deal signed with liberation movement Farc predominated.

None of the candidates put up by the Farc political movement was elected, leaving it with just the five seats guaranteed by the peace agreement in both the 108-member Senate and the 172-member National Assembly.

It fielded 74 legislative candidates but got only 0.22 per cent of votes for the lower house and just 0.35 per cent in the Senate.

President Juan Manuel Santos’s own Party of National Unity, which was the biggest political movement in the outgoing congress, finished fifth overall.

Farc candidate Rodrigo Londono, known as Timochenko, has already withdrawn from the presidential contest, having just been released from hospital after suffering heart problems.

His campaign had been hampered by violence and one-sided propaganda in the bourgeois mass media.

The country’s presidential election on May 27 will pit Ivan Duque of the far-right Democratic Centre, a protege of former death squad-linked president Alvaro Uribe, against Gustavo Petro.  Both won primary contests in their rival coalitions.

Mr Petro was once a member of the disbanded M-19 guerilla group and is a former mayor of Bogota.

A member of the Colombia Humana party, he pledges to improve conditions for the poor and wants to create a “social economy” that will shift the economy from oil toward agriculture.

His opponent Mr Duque is a lawyer and senator who worked at the Inter-American Development Bank and United Nations.


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