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Colombian Presidential Vote Heads for Runoff

  • VOA News

Opposition presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga reacts as they go to the second round held in Bogota, May 25, 2014.

Opposition presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga reacts as they go to the second round held in Bogota, May 25, 2014.

Colombia's opposition presidential candidate beat the president in the first round of elections that could determine whether the country continues peace talks with Marxist guerrillas or steps up its military offensive to end a 50-year war.

Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, a former finance minister, won 29 percent of the vote Sunday, while President Juan Manuel Santos trailed with 26 percent among five candidates.

The two men now go into a runoff on June 15 and will spend the next three weeks scrambling to win over voters.

President Santos staked his bid for a second four-year term on ending the conflict with FARC rebels through negotiations taking place in Cuba.

Zuluaga has dismissed the current talks as pandering to terrorists.

Santos said Sunday "the choice is between those of us who want to put an end to the war and those who want a war without end."
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