World Bulletin/News Desk
Campaigning is officially closed for the second round of the Colombian presidential elections due on Sunday, which is promising a close-run battle between incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos and challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga.
While the Democratic Center candidate Zuluaga won May 25's first round by getting 458,156 votes more than Santos of the Social Party of National Unity, the current president is confident of victory.
“Do not worry, and hear me when I say: I am going to win these elections by a margin of 8 to 10 points,” said Santos in an interview with Canal Capital.
As both candidates mobilize support from various sectors, President Santos received a boost in the form of an open letter signed by 80 key Colombian impresarios and industrialists.
“You have directed a government which has resulted in unprecedented economic benefits, increased formal employment, increased foreign investment, the modernization of infrastructure and maintained excellent international relations,” said 80 private sector impresarios in their letter.
Presently, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga is focusing his campaign in Bogota – and is away from the cameras under his doctor’s orders to relax due to a severe case of laryngitis -- and former President Alvaro Uribe’s son Tomas Uribe is on the campaign trail.
“We have a total commitment to Bogota, we are covering the city letting people know about Oscar Ivan Zuluaga’s proposals,” said Tomas Uribe in an interview to El Tiempo newspaper.
The second round of the presidential elections takes place against a backdrop of scandals including illegal wire-tapping, e-mail hacking, illegal pay outs, accusations of electoral fraud and the lowest voter turnout in 20 years in the first round.
Much of the campaigning is now being directed at the ongoing peace dialogues between the government’s negotiating team and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC guerrillas) in Havana, Cuba.
The civil conflict is the main source of debate and Colombians appear divided on the peace dialogues with the FARC and the recently announced agreement to negotiate with the country’s second guerrilla group ELN, or the National Liberation Army.
Human Rights Watch estimates that Colombia’s long-running civil conflict has caused an estimated 220,000 deaths and 5 million internally displaced people since 1958.
Last Mod: 14 Haziran 2014, 00:18