Colombia

Articles about voting issues in the Republic of Colombia.

Colombia: Colombia, the country that voted against a peace process, fails to vote against corruption | Colombia Reports

A referendum that sought to curb rampant corruption in Colombia’s congress failed on a knife’s edge on Sunday after voters failed to turn out. Of Colombia’s 36.4 million voters, less than 12 million cast votes, leaving the referendum 500 thousand votes short for it to be declared valid. The citizens who did vote, overwhelmingly approved the seven anti-corruption measures. More than 99 percent of the voters who did turn up approved the measures. Colombia’s rampant corruption is one of the most common grievances in the South American country, yet it failed to mobilize enough voters to address the problem that is bleeding the national treasury. According to the country’s Inspector General some 10 percent of the national budget gets lost through corruption every year.

Full Article: Colombia, the country that voted against a peace process, fails to vote against corruption.

Colombia: Anti-graft referendum falls just short of required votes | Deutsche Welle

An anti-corruption referendum in Colombia failed to pass on Sunday after narrowly falling short of a required one-third quorum. Nearly 11.7 million of nearly 36 million registered voters turned out to vote on seven measures designed to battle corruption and improve transparency. A threshold of 12.1 million voters was needed to make it binding. However, of those that cast a vote nearly 99 percent supported the proposals, sending a clear message to political elites that the public wants corruption to be taken seriously.

Full Article: Colombia anti-graft referendum falls just short of required votes | News | DW | 27.08.2018.

Colombia: Iván Duque wins election to become Colombia’s president | The Guardian

Colombia has chosen Iván Duque, a conservative neophyte, to be its next president after a long and divisive campaign that often centred on a controversial peace process with leftist rebels the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (Farc). Duque, who opposes the peace deal, won in a second round runoff election on Sunday with 53.9% of the vote. His vanquished opponent, Bogotá’s former mayor Gustavo Petro – once a leftist militant himself – defends the peace process. Despite being the first leftist in the conservative country’s history to come so close to the presidency, he lost on the night, taking 41.8% of the vote.

Full Article: Iván Duque wins election to become Colombia's president | World news | The Guardian.

Colombia: President-Elect Seeks Unity After Polarizing Vote | The New York Times

President-elect Ivan Duque appealed for unity after winning a runoff election over a leftist firebrand whose ascent shook Colombia’s political establishment and laid bare deep divisions over the nation’s peace process. The conservative Duque, the protege of a powerful former president, was elected Sunday with 54 percent of the vote. He finished more than 12 points ahead of former guerrilla Gustavo Petro, though the runner-up’s performance at the ballot box was the best ever for the left in one of Latin America’s most conservative nations.

Full Article: Colombia's President-Elect Seeks Unity After Polarizing Vote - The New York Times.

Colombia: A fragile peace deal is at stake in Colombia’s runoff election | Ken Frankel/The Globe and Mail

In Colombia’s first presidential elections since the signing of the 2016 peace agreement ending its 50-year war with the FARC insurgency, candidates have competed on issues that affect people’s daily lives and future prospects, rather than who can claim the firmest hand in dealing with armed conflict and real or exaggerated threats. Political space has been opened for a broader discussion. This is especially true on the left, which had traditionally hewn closer to the centre than elsewhere in Latin America for fear of being branded by the right as soft on the security file. In first-round voting, candidates who backed the peace accord from the beginning received 59 per cent of the votes. Though they lamented the government’s inadequate preparation in implementing aspects of the accord, they agreed that Colombia had to turn the page. However, the only major candidate who had originally opposed the peace agreement, Ivan Duque, received 39 per cent of the vote.

Full Article: A fragile peace deal is at stake in Colombia’s runoff election - The Globe and Mail.

Colombia: ELN rebels call ceasefire around election | Colombia Report

ELN rebels said Monday they will cease military activities around Sunday’s presidential election. “We have decided to decree a new suspension of our military operations from the start of Friday 15 to the end of Tuesday 19,” the ELN announced in a communique on Monday. The armed group had also ceased activities in May during the first round of presidential elections. 

Full Article: Colombia's ELN rebels call ceasefire around election.

Colombia: Why Colombia’s elections are dominated by fear | Colombia Reports

Many in Colombia fear the election of a former guerrilla could ruin the country, while others fear the election of an oligarch could reignite mass human rights violations. While both candidates have claimed to represent hope for the country, it has been mainly concerns about the opponent that have dominated the campaign. The conservative Ivan Duque, who has the support of hard-right former President Alvaro Uribe and all traditional parties, has threatened to “restructure” an ongoing peace process and renegotiate terms for ongoing peace talks with the ELN.

Full Article: Why Colombia's elections are dominated by fear.

Colombia: Presidential candidates want to see evidence of voter fraud | Colombia Report

Both candidates in Colombia’s presidential election race have asked the country’s chief prosecutor to reveal alleged evidence of voter fraud. Prosecutor General Nestor Humberto Martinez said Thursday this year’s elections saw widespread election fraud, but said he would not reveal evidence until after a new president is elected. The results of legislative elections in March and the first presidential election round last week have become controversial after claims that both votes saw widespread fraud. Martinez said he would not reveal evidence of “sicking” levels of fraud until after the elections “so they don’t say I am intervening in politics.” Martinez’ claim contradicted the country’s electoral authorities that have categorically denied fraud claims.

Full Article: Colombia's presidential candidates want to see evidence of voter fraud.

Colombia: Presidential runoff will be a yet another referendum on peace | The Conversation

There were five candidates competing in Colombia’s May 27 presidential election, but peace was the main question on the ballot. In late 2016, the Colombian government signed a controversial accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, a guerrilla group. Election season closely followed the peace deal – an incredibly divisive issue that was defeated at referendum just over a month before Congress approved it – turning it into a polarizing campaign issue. Implementation of the ambitious agreements with the FARC remains a work in progress. Colombia is also currently negotiating another peace process, with the National Liberation Army guerrilla group. The next president must decide whether to keep to this path or take a different route.

Full Article: Colombia's presidential runoff will be a yet another referendum on peace.

Colombia: Explosive claims of election rigging in Colombia | Colombia Report

Colombia’s electoral authorities refuse to investigate voting corruption despite strong claims of widespread rigging. The fraud accusations originated from anti-corruption candidate Gustavo Petro and his supporters, who alleged that voting result charts were doctored to favor front-running rival Ivan Duque. The claims were neither confirmed nor denied by independent electoral observers. The European Union, who sent a small envoy of observers to monitor the vote, told Colombia Reports it refused to speculate. Ahead of the elections, Petro had warned of alleged attempts for voting to be rigged in favor of German Vargas, who ended fourth.

Full Article: Explosive claims of election rigging in Colombia.

Colombia: Rightwinger and former guerrilla head for presidential runoff | The Guardian

Colombians have failed to elect a president outright, setting the stage for a bitter runoff between two frontrunners from opposite ends of the political spectrum, while a peace process with leftist rebels hangs in the balance. Iván Duque, a hardline conservative who viscerally opposes the peace accord, took the largest share of the vote on Sunday with 39%, though fell short of the 50% required to win at the first round. Instead, he will face Gustavo Petro – a leftwinger and former mayor of Bogotá, who came second with 25% – in the second round on 17 June. Petro, himself once a guerrilla, was Colombia’s first progressive candidate in generations and had been expected to gain a larger share. But a third candidate, the more moderate Sergio Fajardo, appeared to siphon off Petro’s support, receiving 23%. It remains to be seen if Fajardo, a reformer and former mayor of Medellín, will back Petro in the second round.

Full Article: Colombia elections: rightwinger and former guerrilla head for presidential runoff | World news | The Guardian.

Colombia: Colombians hope for change in the first post-war presidential election | The Economist

Every afternoon in Samaná, a small coffee-growing town in the Colombian Andes, prosperous townspeople mount Paso Fino horses to ride from bar to bar, where they down shots of aguardiente, Colombia’s most popular tipple. Their tongues loosened by the anise-flavoured drink, they become garrulous on the subject of the country’s presidential election, the first round of which is scheduled for May 27th. Álvaro Uribe, a right-wing former president, “is a horseman just like us”, declares Brayan López, a horse-dealer. He, and almost everyone else in Samaná, it seems, will vote for Iván Duque, Mr Uribe’s protégé, who is leading in the polls. As president from 2002 to 2010, Mr Uribe sent the army to expel from the area around Samaná the 47th Front, a unit of the FARC, a guerrilla group that had fought the state since 1964. The front’s leader, Elda Neyis Mosquera, known as “la negra Karina”, was one of the FARC’s few female commanders and is thought to have been one of its bloodiest. She turned herself in and is now, by Mr López’s account, an uribista. In all, some 220,000 people died in the war and perhaps 7m were displaced.

Full Article: Colombians hope for change in the first post-war presidential election - Judging the horseflesh.

Colombia: Days before vote, Santos calls emergency meeting over election fraud claims | Colombia Reports

Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday agreed to investigate piling election fraud accusations a day after rejecting the fraud claims as “extreme left” inventions. Santos said he would organize a top-level meeting with ministers, judicial authorities and the military on Wednesday to discuss the piling fraud allegations. The meeting will take place just four days ahead of presidential elections after leftist candidate Gustavo Petro, a staunch anti-corruption crusader, called on his supporters to take to the streets when polls close on Sunday.

Full Article: Days before vote, Santos calls emergency meeting over election fraud claims.

Colombia: Candidate Petro says voting software tampered with, government denies | Reuters

Leftist Colombian presidential candidate Gustavo Petro said on Sunday that voting software for next week’s contest has been tampered with, in a bid to aid center-right candidate German Vargas, an allegation the government denied. Petro, an ex-mayor of Bogota and former M-19 rebel, has long held second place in surveys, behind right-wing candidate Ivan Duque. Vargas is in fourth place. “The software has algorithm alterations that don’t give a guarantee and could generate a massive fraud,” Petro told journalists, questioning what he said was the absence of a European Union electoral observation mission with the expertise to examine the system.

Full Article: Colombia candidate Petro says voting software tampered with, government denies | Reuters.

Colombia: Officials Probe Voter Registration Cyberattacks Traced to Russia’s Allies | VoA News

Colombian government and military officials say the government is investigating tens of thousands of cyberattacks on the country’s voter registration systems, and traced the incidents to Russia’s key allies in the region. More than 50,000 attacks on the web platform of Colombia’s national voter registry were detected during the run-up to March 11 parliamentary elections, according to Defense Minister Luis Villegas, who said some of the hacks were staged from Venezuela, which has become a proxy for Russia. While Villegas did not specifically mention Russia at a March 8 press conference in which he denounced the ongoing incidents, he said three of the hacks — which each triggered repeated robotic attacks — were linked to internet addresses in Colombia, while one was identified as coming from Venezuela. Colonel Jose Marulanda, a Colombian intelligence analyst, said Russia was seeking a foothold in the region.

Full Article: Colombia Probes Voter Registration Cyberattacks Traced to Russia's Allies.

Colombia: Former rebels shunned as critics of peace deal dominate election | The Guardian

Pablo Catatumbo was once one of the most feared men in Colombia. He spent most of his 64 years as a military commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc), plotting the violent overthrow of the country’s government. This weekend, however, he cast his vote in parliamentary elections, as the former rebels made their first foray into electoral politics after a historic peace deal in 2016. “It’s the first time in my life that I’ve voted and I do it for peace,” he said after completing his ballot at a Bogotá polling station.

Full Article: Colombian former rebels shunned as critics of peace deal dominate election | World news | The Guardian.

Colombia: Irregularities, Fraud Allegations Mar Colombian Elections | teleSUR

While some voting stations ran out of ballots, social media users also posted numerous videos showing alleged irregularities including vote buying. Colombia’s legislative elections and interparty primaries have created a stir in the South American nation, after major irregularities were reported by NGOs, candidates and social media users. The Electoral Observer Mission (OEM) – which had warned of the risk of fraud in hundreds of municipalities in the run-up to the elections –reported numerous inconsistencies as videos surfaced on social media appearing to show vote-buying and other fraudulent activities. “Unauthorized information desks” had been set up in front of polling stations in various towns “with lists of voters and transportation ready to receive them,” the OEM said. 

Full Article: Irregularities, Fraud Allegations Mar Colombian Elections | News | teleSUR English.

Colombia: Peace deal backers suffer in Colombia congress elections | Associated Press

Colombian voters turned to right-wing parties critical of the country’s peace deal with the main leftist rebels and knocked the current president’s party down in congressional elections, raising questions about the future of the accord. Sunday’s vote was seen as a barometer for a fiercely contested presidential election in May. It was also the first time former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, competed politically since disarming under the 2016 peace deal to end a half century of conflict. As expected, support for their radical agenda was soundly rejected, with FARC candidates getting less than 0.5 percent of the overall vote. That means their political party will get only the 10 seats guaranteed them by the peace accord.

Full Article: Peace deal backers suffer in Colombia congress elections - ABC News.

Colombia: FARC withdraws from Colombia’s presidential race | AFP

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.

Full Article: FARC withdraws from Colombia's presidential race - France 24.

Colombia: Former rebel leaders now battle for votes | AFP

Former Colombian rebels are returning to mountain strongholds where they once fought to the death, this time to campaign in the first elections held under a peace accord that ended a 50-year insurgency. They were greeted with hugs and red roses as they made their way up the slopes of the Cauca Valley in southwest Colombia. One of them is Pablo Catatumbo, who fought for the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia starting in 1973. Now, he is 65 and looked after by a detail of 40 men — some ex-rebels and some former adversaries. Under the peace accord reached in late 2016 that led to the FARC’s disarming, the former rebels are guaranteed at least 10 of the 268 congressional seats up for grabs in the March 11 election. But they can gain even more, so former rebel leaders are out trying to win votes.

Full Article: Colombia's former rebel leaders now battle for votes.