Colombia’s New Conservative President Sets His Sights on the FARC Peace Deal

Colombia’s New Conservative President Sets His Sights on the FARC Peace Deal
Ivan Duque celebrates his victory in the presidential runoff election, Bogota, Colombia, June 17, 2018 (AP photo by Fernando Vergara).

Bogota—Colombia’s new president-elect, Ivan Duque, has promised to unite a divided country behind his plans to toughen the landmark peace accord with the former FARC guerrillas when he takes office later this year. The right-wing former senator comfortably won Sunday’s run-off election with 54 percent of the vote against his leftist rival, Gustavo Petro, who garnered 42 percent.

Duque, who will turn 42 just before taking office on Aug. 8, will be the youngest elected head of state in Colombia’s 132-year history as a republic. His running mate, Martha Lucia Ramirez, who is a former minister of defense, will be the country’s first woman to hold the office of vice president.

Sunday’s vote was the first presidential election since the 2016 peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, which brought an end to more than five decades of conflict that killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.

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