(Photo: Colprensa)

President Juan Manuel Santos made a speech to his supporters on Sunday evening after results of Colombia’s presidential elections named himself and Oscar Ivan Zuluaga as candidates for a second round of presidential elections.

Colombia’s 2014 elections

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Juan Manuel Santos


Oscar Ivan Zuluaga

Enrique Peñalosa


Clara Lopez


Marta Lucia Ramirez

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Zuluaga won the first round with 29.26% of the vote with Santos following with 25.67% but the lack of a majority win for either candidate means the presidential election must go to a second round which will be held on June 15.

Santos began the speech by congratulating his political rival Zuluaga on his success and invited him to treat upcoming debates “with a strong concentration on proposals as that is what the country wants.”  Santos himself was not present at the majority of debates for the first round of elections but said he would attend all debates should the election go to a second round, according to Semana magazine.

MORE: Colombia debate crisis in build up to presidential elections

A choice for peace

The emphatic speech from the incumbent president spoke of the new fight being for “the poor and for peace” as he strives to get the votes of those who voted for unsuccessful candidates Enrique Peñalosa for the Green Alliance (Alianza Verde -AV), Clara Lopez for the Democratic Pole (POLO Democratico – PD) and Marta Lucia Ramirez for the Conservative party (Partido Conservador).

Santos stated that this upcoming election would show the difference between “those who want the war to end and those who prefer a war without end,” stating that “on June 15 we will chose between the past and future.”

The president also took the opportunity to thank ”our soldiers, the police and the security forces that guaranteed the most peaceful elections in recent times,” and took to twitter to thank his supporters.

The speech was met with chanting of “the poor and peace” as Santos asked them to “fight against the corruption” and asked them “to vote and vote well” in the second round election in three weeks.

Santos also reminded those listening of the policies of the unsuccessful candidates, stating that those who voted for Peñalosa should think to support his campaign in the second round due to their shared ideas on the importance of education.

MORE: Beyond the scandals: Colombia’s presidential candidates on education

In the speech Santos stated that “we all share the same dream to be united,” using the policies of Clara Lopez who wanted a “more inclusive and balanced” Colombia as a platform to tell those listening that “we must unite in the fight for peace.”

Fight for peace to be focus of second round campaign

The president is focusing on peace for his re-election campaign as peace talks with Colombia’s oldest guerrilla group, the FARC, were orchestrated by his administration and have so far proved successful. However Zuluaga has openly stated his disdain for the peace talks calling into question whether or not they will continue if Santos is not re-elected.

MORE: Zuluaga demands end of Colombia peace talks after policemen murdered 

However Santos’ campaign for re-election was not without its own problems. Shortly after launching his campaign, one of his chief political strategists, Juan Jose Rendon, was forced to resign when a Colombian drug lord testified that Rendon was payed $12 million to promote proposals to Santos for negotiating their surrender.

The president ended his speech asking voters to support his wish to “end the half a century long conflict of blood and pain” and work towards a country which is “modern, united and without war.”

The second round of the presidential elections will be held on June 15.


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