Colombian vote heads for runoff

AFP-JIJI

Colombian opposition candidate Oscar Zuluaga narrowly led President Juan Manuel Santos in first-round elections Sunday, but they now face a runoff in a crucial campaign for peace talks with Marxist rebels.

With nearly all ballots counted, Zuluaga had 29.3 percent of the votes compared with 25.6 percent for his rival, both failing to get the outright majority needed to avoid the June 15 second round.

Santos presented the outcome as a referendum on his center-right government’s 18-month negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Zuluaga, a former finance minister who has the support of former conservative President Alvaro Uribe, restated criticism of the peace process, saying he would not allow impunity for the guerrillas.