Oscar Ivan Zuluaga (L) and Juan Manuel Santos

Colombia’s Catholic Church asked the two candidates vying to be elected president on June 15 to put aside personal quarrels and present actual political proposals instead, newspaper El Espectador reported on Sunday.

The bishops and archbishops gathered in Manizales and asked the presidential candidates, hard-liner Oscar Ivan Zuluaga and incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos to put aside fighting for the welfare of the country.

The Bishop of Buenaventura, Hector Epalza, told Caracol Radio he thought is very unfortunate that the ongoing presidential campaign does not meet the needs of the Colombians in areas such as health, education and peace. 

MORE: Colombia Holds Presidential Election ‘In Peace’ After ‘Dirtiest’ Campaign In Recent History

The clergy called for the candidates to center their speeches around proposals and to solidify their commitment to work toward the benefit of all Colombia, El Espectador reported.

Finally, the bishops and archbishops reportedly indicated that to achieve peace it is necessary that the elected president do not forget the conflict-stricken regions.

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The campaign prior to the presidential election on May 25 have been dominated by scandals regarding illegal espionage and drug-money, and both of the two candidates’ campaign managers had to resign before the election. The candidates have been criticized that they have not announced actual political proposals during the campaign.

The two candidates gained the majority of the votes in the first presidential election. The second round of the election, where it is settled who will lead the country until 2018, takes place June 15.


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