‘Santos playing politics with peace process’: Peñalosa

Posted on Apr 1 2014 - 9:03pm by Rico
Enrique Peñalosa

The candidate of the left-leaning Green Alliance, Enrique Peñalosa, has accused President Juan Manuel Santos of playing politics with the peace process.

In a statement released on Twitter, the presidential candidate and former mayor of Bogota criticized Santos, saying, “I find it sad that a president so concerned about polls, is playing politics with the peace process.”

Peñalosa, who has previously voiced his support for the ongoing peace negotiations between the Colombian government and the rebel group FARC, also went on to say that there should be no truce during the negotiating process. “There is no truce. Despite negotiations in Havana, the armed forces should be doing everything possible to defeat the FARC militarily.”

There is currently no cease-fire agreement in effect between the two sides.

MORE: Peñalosa supports continuing FARC peace talks

Peñalosa’s statements were made following a recent shift in polls, which saw the former mayor’s numbers increase by 4 points, from 9% to 13%.

Incumbent president Juan Manuel Santos dropped 8 points, from 31% to 23%, according to a poll by Cifras & Conceptos.

Peñalosa has previously said that if elected president he will continue the peace talks.

The former Bogota mayor also said that he would keep the current governmental team led by Humberto De la Calle, which has been negotiating with Colombia’s largest armed group, FARC, in Havana, Cuba since November 2012.

“We support the peace process with the FARC and I support the [current] negotiating team because we consider it appropriate and responsible,” he said in a statement last week.

MORE: Santos loses ground, election to be decided in 2nd round: Poll

Two major polls in as many weeks have found that voters would likely elect Peñalosa in run-off election with current President Juan Manuel Santos in June, if there was no clear winner in the ballot in May.

Enrique Peñalosa was chosen as the Green Alliance Candidate on March 9′s internal elections that coincided with Colombia’s congressional elections.

He was mayor of Bogota from 1998 to 2001 but has not been elected to a public office since, despite several attempts.  Formerly a member of the Green party, Peñalosa is now the candidate for the Green Alliance, the party formed by the unity of the Green party and Progressive party in 2013.

The FARC has been fighting the Colombian state since its foundation in 1964. A reported 5 million Colombians have been displaced from their homes, as a result of  fighting between the rebels, the Colombian military and state-aligned paramilitary groups.

The rebel group is currently negotiating a political end to the conflict with the government of President Juan Manuel Santos.

This represents the fourth historic attempt at peace talks between the government and the FARC.

 

 

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