Colombian election ends
in need for a June runoff
Former Colombian defense minister Juan Manuel Santos has taken a commanding lead in the country’s presidential election, but appears to be falling short of the votes needed to avoid a runoff.
With nearly all ballots counted, election officials say Santos has 47 percent of the vote to 22 percent for Antanas Mockus.
If Santos’ vote total does not rise above 50 percent, he and Mockus will compete in a runoff ballot in June. There are nine candidates in this round.
Even before Sunday’s vote, Santos and Mockus were seen as front-runners to succeed popular President Álvaro Uribe, who has served the maximum two terms. In fact, polls showed the two in a close race. The Mockus campaign may have been hurt when he announced in April that he had Parkinson’s disease. He is a former mayor of Bogotá and sought the presidency under the banner of the Partido Verde Colombiano.
Santos is the candidate of the Partido Social de Unidad Nacional.
Millions of Colombians went to the polls, including some in Costa Rica who voted at the Museo de los Niños.
Santos is an economist from one of Colombia’s most powerful families. As Uribe’s defense minister, he oversaw the military campaign that largely drove the leftist Fuerzas Armandas Revolucionarias rebels into the hill and jungle regions.
Santos faced unexpected competition from Mockus, a mathematician and philosopher who campaigned on a message of “clean politics.”
President Uribe, who has enjoyed immense popularity for bringing more security to Colombia, has been a strong U.S. ally.
Word of the Day
Main Entry: run·off
1 : a final race, contest, or election to decide an earlier one that has not resulted in a decision in favor of any one competitor
2 : the portion of precipitation on land that ultimately reaches streams often with dissolved or suspended material
Ally: n. a sovereign or state associated with another by treaty or league
Campaign: n. competition by rival political candidates and organizations for public office
Drive: v. to send, expel, or otherwise cause to move by force or compulsion
Fall short: idiom. To prove insufficient; be lacking
Oversee: v. to direct; supervise; manage
Poll: n. the registering of votes, as at an election
Love those Phrasal Verbs!
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