Skip to main content

Colombia's Santos wins re-election

By Claudia Dominguez and Dana Ford, CNN
updated 7:20 AM EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos casts his vote in the presidential runoff election on June 15, 2014.
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos casts his vote in the presidential runoff election on June 15, 2014.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Juan Manuel Santos predicts the start of a new Colombia
  • With more than 99% of polling stations reporting, he had nearly 51% of the vote
  • Challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga won some 45% of ballots
  • Key election question: How should the government handle the FARC?

(CNN) -- Capping a hotly contested contest, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos won re-election Sunday.

With more than 99% of polling stations reporting, he had nearly 51% of the vote versus the 45% won by challenger Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, according to election officials.

A first-round vote was held last month. None of the five candidates running then received more than 50% of votes, forcing a runoff between Santos and Zuluaga.

Santos was first elected in 2010 on a platform of continuing an offensive against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, leftist guerrillas at war with the government for decades.

But since late 2012, peace talks with the group have become a hallmark of the Santos presidency.

Zuluaga had called for an end to the peace talks and is against giving any political space to the rebels.

He conceded Sunday night, thanking supporters and promising to continue to fight for the good of the nation.

Santos celebrated in Bogota, predicting the start of a new Colombia.

"These have been unique elections (because) what was at play wasn't the name of a candidate -- but the direction of the nation. Colombians with very different ideas ... came together around a cause," he told cheering crowds, "and that cause is peace."

"This is the end of more than 50 years of violence in this country, and the beginning of a new Colombia," Santos said.

CNN's Catherine E. Shoichet and Rafael Romo contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:43 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
A captured fighter tells CNN's Ivan Watson: "They gave us drugs... that made you go to battle."
updated 9:31 AM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
A terminally ill woman who plans to take her own life checks off the last item.
updated 7:40 PM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
In a plot straight out of Hollywood, federal agents gain access to a suspected Triad boss' Vegas hotel room by pretending to fix the Internet connection.
updated 12:34 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Was it only black and Latino men who harassed a woman in NYC? The filmmaker has found himself in a race controversy.
updated 10:15 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
The history of human rights often overlooks the struggles of gay people. This must change.
updated 9:15 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Armed with Kalashnikovs and chanting for the dead comrades, women are among ISIS' most feared enemies. They are fighting for their families -- and now they are getting U.S. help.
updated 8:46 AM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
Lere Mgayiya put his best foot forward and set up a shoe-shine firm after his career plans fell flat.
updated 1:28 AM EDT, Thu October 30, 2014
One Chinese drone manufacturer wants to take away the warmongering stigma of "drones."
updated 11:12 PM EDT, Wed October 29, 2014
Sketcher Luis Simoes is traveling the world -- slowly. And he's packed his sketchbook.
updated 4:43 PM EDT, Tue October 28, 2014
European states help North Korea's brutal treatment of its people by allowing luxury goods like cars and cognacs to evade sanctions, two experts say.
updated 11:45 PM EDT, Thu October 23, 2014
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
updated 7:04 AM EDT, Fri October 31, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT