World Media

Colombia election: Farc fails to win support in first national vote

Colombia election: Farc fails to win support in first national vote

Sunday's primaries - in which Duque won nearly 42 percent more votes than Petro did - were considered a better test of voter support than often inaccurate opinion polls, although some voters will have participated strategically and may not back either victor in the presidential vote.

Santos, who cast his vote near the presidential headquarters in Bogota just past 8 a.m., also celebrated the FARC's participation in the electoral process.

With more than 90% of votes counted, ex-president Álvaro Uribe's Democratic Centre party won the most seats.

Gustavo Petro, a former Bogota mayor who is seeking to become conservative Colombia's first leftist president, will oppose him after winning almost two million votes, 85 percent of the poll, in his primary.

Other candidates include Liberal party elder statesman Humberto de la Calle, who lead government negotiators at FARC talks, and former defence minister and US ambassador Juan Carlos Pinzon.

Known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, Londono had been the FARC's bet to replace President Juan Manuel Santos when the latter leaves office in August, but heart surgery on Wednesday has put him out of the race.

$10B will be bet on March Madness - most of it illegally
Supreme Court is now considering a legal challenge from legislators in New Jersey , with a ruling expected later this year. That includes 24 million who filled out basketball brackets pools and spent $2.6 billion on entry fees.

A significant lead in votes for Colombian right-wing candidate Ivan Duque over leftist Gustavo Petro in presidential primaries pushed the peso up against the dollar on Monday as investors bet Duque would be more business friendly that the former guerrilla candidate. He is in favor of the peace deal and is proposing a "social economy" for Colombia with increased taxes for the rich.

The peace accord with the now-renamed Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guarantees their new political party 10 of the 280 seats in the new Congress, five in the Senate and five in the Chamber of Deputies.

Despite a disastrous campaign that witnessed rebels-turned-politicians mobbed by angry crowds, some FARC candidates remained hopeful of their prospect in the country's legislature. "It's the first time in my life that I have voted and I doing so for the sake of peace".

While all candidates advocate clamping down on corruption and investment in education and health, the two top pollers differ in their views on a peace deal with Marxist FARC rebels. First results on Sunday indicated they had taken less than 0.5 percent of the overall vote. Analysts believe that a conservative government could try to block part of its implementation, including agrarian reform and a truth and reconciliation deal.

Several rounds of talks had been held over the course of the previous year in the capital of neighboring Ecuador, but Santos suspended them following a series of attacks on police stations that left 6 people dead and dozens more wounded.

"There are no big changes, there are adjustments", Frederic Masse, an expert in armed conflict and the peace process at Externado University, told AFP.