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Former Colombian Guerillas Run for Office


Ivan Marquez, a former leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, FARC, center, speaks at a press conference in Bogota, Colombia, March 8, 2018.

Colombia is voting Sunday for a new Congress.

FARC, the country's former leftist guerilla group, has put down its arms and transformed into a political party participating for the first time in the election for seats in the Senate and the House of Representatives.

"This is the first election in half a century when we will vote in peace, without the FARC as an armed group, but as a political party," said President Juan Manuel Santos, who signed the deal with FARC.

A peace deal signed by the Colombian government and the leftist FARC rebels in 2016 ended decades of war

The group still uses the FARC acronym, but now the letters stand for the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force, instead of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia.

The peace deal guarantees FARC ten Congressional seats.

Political analysts say it is unlikely FARC will win any seats beyond the ten.

Center-right parties are expected to dominate the results.

Sunday's vote is mainly seen as a way to predict which party will win the presidential election in May.

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