Colom­bians nix peace deal in shock vote

The Myanmar Times - - World -

COLOM­BIANS hit their govern­ment with a shock de­feat when they voted by a ra­zor-thin ma­jor­ity to re­ject a his­toric peace ac­cord with com­mu­nist FARC rebels.

Vot­ers nar­rowly de­fied the govern­ment’s plan to put 52 years of bloody con­flict be­hind them, re­vers­ing the trend of ear­lier opin­ion polls.

The “No” camp won by about 57,000 votes which trans­lated into a lead of less than half a per­cent­age point, elec­toral au­thor­i­ties said.

Pres­i­dent Juan Manuel San­tos ad­mit­ted de­feat in the vote but vowed to con­tinue peace ef­forts.

FARC chief Ro­drigo Lon­dono, alias Ti­moleon “Ti­mochenko” Jimenez, also vowed the force was com­mit­ted to con­tin­u­ing peace ef­forts.

But it main­tains “its will­ing­ness to use di­a­logue as the only weapon for build­ing the fu­ture”.

Sup­port­ers of the ac­cord had ex­pected it to ef­fec­tively end what is seen as the last ma­jor armed con­flict in the Western hemi­sphere.

But the Oc­to­ber 2 re­sults were a crash­ing de­feat for Mr San­tos and the ac­cord that he signed with the Revo­lu­tion­ary Armed Forces of Colom­bia (FARC).

Colom­bians voted 50.21 per­cent to 49.78pc against the ac­cord, ac­cord­ing to re­sults pub­lished on­line. Turnout was low at just over 37pc.

Op­po­nents of the deal, drawn up at peace talks in Ha­vana, Cuba, re­sented the con­ces­sions made to the FARC, which has car­ried out killings, kid­nap­pings and ex­tor­tion.

The deal called for the 5765 FARC rebels to dis­arm in six months and con­vert into a po­lit­i­cal group with seats in Colom­bia’s Congress. –

Photo: AFP

“No” sup­port­ers cel­e­brate fol­low­ing their vic­tory in the ref­er­en­dum on a peace ac­cord to end the 52-year-old guer­rilla war be­tween the FARC and the state in Bogota, Colom­bia, on Oc­to­ber 2.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.