Posted on March 12, 2018 9:42 am
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Categories: Political

Colombia Voters Turn to Right-Wing Parties in Congressional Elections — Setback for Santos’s Party

— Colombian voters turned to right-wing parties critical of the country’s peace deal with the main leftist rebels and knocked the current president’s party down in congressional elections, raising questions about the future of the accord.

Sunday’s vote was seen as a barometer for a fiercely contested presidential election in May.

It was also the first time former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, competed politically since disarming under the 2016 peace deal to end a half century of conflict. As expected, support for their radical agenda was soundly rejected, with FARC candidates getting less than 0.5 percent of the overall vote. That means their political party will get only the 10 seats guaranteed them by the peace accord.

“The FARC are in a tough spot,” said Leon Valencia, a former combatant who now runs the Peace and Reconciliation Foundation, a think tank. “A long war has generated lots of fear and rancor towards them.”

By contrast, many of the accord’s critics picked up seats, with the Democratic Center party led by former President Alvaro Uribe headed to being the biggest bloc in the Senate. WHIOTV