Juan Manuel Santos Pulls Ahead in Colombian Presidential Election

Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos on the campaign trail in Ibagué, May 17.
Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos on the campaign trail in Ibagué, May 17.

 

Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos on the campaign trail in Ibagué, May 17.
Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos on the campaign trail in Ibagué, May 17.

Today in Latin America

Top Story Contrary to expectations, Juan Manuel Santos gained a strong lead in the first round of Colombia’s presidential elections on Sunday, according to preliminary results announced by Colombia’s National Registry.

With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, Santos led with 46.6 percent. Antanas Mockus held second place with 21.5 percent. The contest will go to a second round in June because neither candidate won a simple majority.

Polls in recent weeks had predicted a much closer race, with Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus coming from behind to challenge Santos.

As Uribe’s former defense minister, Santos has benefited from the popularity Uribe gained for his victories against the half-century old leftist insurgency, led by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish).

Both candidates have pledged to maintain Uribe’s security policies.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

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