Colombia’s FARC said Thursday it is pulling out of the country’s presidential race after its candidate, 59-year-old ex-guerrilla leader Rodrigo “Timochenko” Londono, suffered a heart attack. Ivan Marquez, a senate candidate and senior member of the political party formed by the former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia rebels, told reporters that party members decided not to field a candidate after Londono underwent open heart surgery on Wednesday. Since the peace deal struck with the government of outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos in late 2016, the FARC gave up its half-century armed struggle and became a political party keeping the same acronym. Colombia’s presidential election is scheduled for May 27, with a possible runoff vote set for mid-June.
Surveys showed that Londono — candidate for the Common Alternative Revolutionary Force — had just one percent voter support.
Marquez however said his party is not dropping out of the legislative elections set for Sunday.
Under the peace accord the former rebels are guaranteed at least 10 of the 268 congressional seats up for grabs in the March 11 election. They can gain more, but they must campaign for them.
Full Article: FARC withdraws from Colombia’s presidential race – France 24.