World News

Voters in El Salvador, Columbia Choose President, Lawmakers

Voters in El Salvador are choosing a new president Sunday, with pre-election polls favoring a former Marxist guerrilla in the runoff poll.

A victory by Salvador Sanchez Ceren of the ruling Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, the FMLN, would make him the first guerrilla commander to hold the presidency since a truce ended a devastating 13-year civil war in 1992.

Recent polling showed Ceren holding a 10 to 18-point lead over San Salvador Mayor Norman Quijano of the right-wing National Republican Alliance, known as ARENA.

Elsewhere, Colombians are choosing a new congress in a vote seen as a referendum on peace talks with leftist guerrillas and a likely bellwether for presidential elections in May.

Nearly 2,500 candidates are competing for a total of 268 seats in Colombia's lower house and senate.



Sunday's election is expected to consolidate President Jose Manuel Santos as the front-runner for a second straight term in the upcoming presidential poll.

A win would allow his government to continue talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, which have dominated national political life since they opened in late 2012 in Havana, Cuba.

Both sides have agreed to allow the rebels to take part in national politics once the insurgency ends.

The FARC has been fighting for five decades against the Colombian government. It partly finances the insurgency through drug trafficking and frequent kidnappings of foreigners and Colombian officials.

Feature Story

An aerial view shows a thinned crowd of pro-democracy student protesters continuing to occupy the streets around the government complex in Hong Kong, Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.

Chinese President's Risky Options for Dealing with Hong Kong Protests

So far, Beijing has refused to back down on its August 31 ruling that Hong Kong can hold its first direct election for its leader only if all candidates are strictly vetted by a nominating committee More

Special Reports