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Right-Wing Candidate Wins Colombia Presidential Poll

By VOA News June 17, 2018

Right-wing lawmaker Ivan Duque won Colombia's presidential election Sunday, promising to rewrite the government's 2016 peace accord with former FARC rebels.

Duque defeated leftist former guerrilla and ex-Mayor of Bogota Gustavo Petro 54-42 percent in Sunday's second and final round of voting.

Petro supports the peace deal with FARC. He also campaigned on redistributing unused lands to poor farmers and turning the country away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy.

But Duque promised a more business-friendly environment for Colombia's struggling economy.

He also wants to make changes to the peace deal to require former Marxist FARC rebels, if they committed crimes against humanity, to serve prison time before entering politics.

The 41-year-old Duque cast his ballot Sunday surrounded by his children. He said he wanted to make sure that those who committed crimes during the five-decadelong conflict in Colombia "pay for them."

"I've come here to fulfill a dream: for Colombia to be governed by a new generation, one that wants to govern for all and with. One that unites the country and turns the page on corruption," he said.

The 58-year-old Petro was the first leftist to reach a presidential runoff in Colombia. He said this shows the country has rid itself of fears of the left that had been marked by 50 years of conflict until the peace accord was reached.

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