New Colombia president may seek to revise rebel peace deal

Presidential candidate Ivan Duque greets supporters as he departs a polling station after casting his vote during the second round of the presidential election in Bogota, Colombia, June 17, 2018. Picuture: REUTERS/Luisa Gonzalez

BOGOTA (Reuters) – Right-wing candidate Ivan Duque won Colombia’s presidential election on Sunday, beating leftist Gustavo Petro in a victory that will reassure investors but raised the prospect of changes to a landmark peace accord with Marxist rebels.

With 99.9 per cent of polling stations counted, Duque comfortably won the ballot with 54.0 per cent of votes while Petro, who had pledged to shake up Colombia’s economic model, had 41.8 per cent.

It was Colombia’s first presidential election since the 2016 peace deal with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which ended their part in a five-decade conflict that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions.

Duque, 41, the business friendly protégé of hardline former President Alvaro Uribe, wants to change the deal, which he deems too lenient on the Marxist FARC rebels, while keeping Colombia’s economic policies intact.