Colombia’s presidential candidates have received the news of the agreement between the government and the FARC on the topic of illicit drugs in the peace talks in Havana, Cuba with mixed reactions.
Many of the presidential candidates for the upcoming presidential election believe the announcement on Friday of the deal on illicit drug cultivation between the government and the FARC is a cynical move to gather support for incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos’ electoral campaign.
According to news magazine Semana, the presidential candidates consider the news as an electoral “coup” for the president.
Meanwhile, Santos has defended the deal and in a speech on Saturday in the northern city of Santa Marta said that, “I do not understand how a handful of people, representatives of the extreme right, want to kill the hope of all Colombians to achieve that peace, there is no logic , there is no explanation.”
On his Twitter he wrote that never before in Colombia’s history have we been “so close to achieving the peace which we have dreamed so much about.”
Hoy podemos decir que nunca antes en la historia de Colombia hemos estado tan cerca de conseguir la paz que tanto hemos soñado.
— Juan Manuel Santos (@JuanManSantos) May 17, 2014
Some of the other presidential candidates have considered the declaration, within a week of the election, to be a cynical move.
The Green Alliance candidate Enrique Peñalosa said that there could have been a hasty negotiation on the part of the government, which “therefore, could have committed irresponsible acts,” in order to reach an agreement before the election.
Meanwhile, the candidate of the Democratic Pole, Clara Lopez, is in no doubt that the deal is an effort, “to shore up re-election [of Santos].”
The negotiation teams of both the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group, the country’s largest, reached an agreement on the issue of illicit drug cultivation, on Friday.
The current round of peace talks between the government and the FARC have been ongoing since November 2012, and the latest agreement means three points of a six point agenda have been agreed upon.
Colombia’s presidential election will take place on May 25 with incumbent president Juan Manuel Santos and Oscar Ivan Zuluaga of the Democratic Center currently leading in the polls.
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