lunes, 26 de mayo de 2014

Colombians to vote for President in second round

Óscar Iván Zuluaga, a former finance minister of Colombia and presidential candidate for the very conservative Democratic Centre was the aspirant who won most votes in the first round of Colombia's presidential elections on 25 May, and will run against President Juan Manuel Santos in a second round set for 15 June. A first-round victory would have required winning over 50 per cent of all votes cast. Certain media were citing Mr Zuluaga as promising the end, if elected, of peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) - a project closely associated with the Santos government. The National Election Council put the abstention rate at just under 60 per cent, Europa Press reported on 26 May, observing that this was the highest abstention rate in around 20 years even if voter abstention characterised Colombian presidential elections. The highest abstention rates it reported were in the northern departments of Atlántico with 75.72 per cent, Bolívar with 73 per cent and Magdalena with 70 per cent - meaning, the vast majority of electors there did not bother to vote. The two candidates had reportedly begun consulting with the ousted candidates - the leftist Clara López Obregón, the Greens' Enrique Peñalosa Londoño and the Conservative Marta Lucía Ramírez to obtain their support and hopefully some of their votes. The National Electoral Commision CNE revealed in its 58th bulletin that with 99.97 per cent of votes counted for the presidential elections of 25 May, Mr Zuluaga obtained 3,759,943 votes or 29.25 per cent of all votes cast, President Santos 3,301,753 or 25.69 per cent of votes, Ms Ramírez 15.52 per cent, Clara López of the Polo Democrático y Unión Patriotica 15.23 per cent and Mr Peñalosa 8.28 per cent of votes, Europa Press reported. The daily Vanguardia Liberal published slightly differing numbers in a later tally.