Monday, May 26, 2014

Colombia: President Santos, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga Tied for First Place, 90% of Votes to Be Counted by 1900

According to The Latin American Tribune, Colombia is holding its presidential election on Sunday (May 25), with five candidates, including incumbent Juan Manuel Santos, vying to win the nation’s highest office.

The South American country’s 10,642 polling places opened at 0800 hours and will close at 1600 hours.

The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrilla groups declared a cease-fire on May 20 that will be in effect until May 28 to allow people to vote in a peaceful atmosphere.

“My call is for Colombians to vote, to go vote early, to participate, for this is to strengthen our democracy, our institutions and, irrespective of who wins, President Santos after casting his ballot in Bogotá.

Santos is the candidate of the National Unity coalition, which is made up of the Partido de la U, the Liberal party and the Radical Change party.

COMMENT: Presidential candidates include Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, of the Democratic Center movement; Clara López, of the leftist Alternative Democratic Pole party; Marta Lucía Ramírez, of the Conservative party; and Enrique Peñalosa, of the Green Alliance.

The latest polls, which were conducted a week ago, showed Santos and Zuluaga tied for first place among likely voters.

About 90% of the ballots are expected to be counted by 1900 hours.

A runoff will be held on June 15 between the two top vote-getters if no candidate wins a majority on Sunday.