Colombia's FARC candidate out of presidential race due to ill health

Known by his nom de guerre Timochenko, Londono had been the FARC's bet to replace President Juan Manuel Santos when the latter leaves office in August, but heart surgery on Wednesday has put him out of the race.

But the major winners of the election, a coalition of right-wing forces centered around former president Alvaro Uribe's Centro Democratico party, have led opposition to the peace deal, and what they see as indulgent treatment of organizations involved in atrocious crimes.

The two parties in Fajardo's coalition won just under 9 percent of votes in the lower house and 13 percent in the Senate.

Many Colombians will have voted strategically in the primaries, hoping to influence candidate selection for the presidential vote on May 27.

Petro was officially elected as the presidential candidate of the Decencia (Decent) coalition of progressive parties, which includes his own Human Colombia Movement, the Independent Social Alliance and the Indigenous and Social Alternative Movement (MAIS).

Petro, 57, and his Colombia Humana party pledges to improve conditions for the poor, ban open pit mining and use clean energy. He has pledged to create a “social economy” that will shift the economy from oil toward agriculture.

In the lower house, with 86 percent reporting, the Liberal party was leading, with more than 2.1 million votes of 15.3 million total.

With more than 90 percent of the votes counted, right-wing parties received the most seats. He spent most of his 64 years as a military commander of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (or Farc), plotting the violent overthrow of the country's government.

Catatumbo, along with nine of his former comrades, is guaranteed a non-voting seat in Colombia's congress as part of the controversial peace deal that initially failed to pass a referendum.

This weekend, however, he cast his vote in parliamentary elections, as the former rebels made their first foray into electoral politics after a historic peace deal in 2016.

It is unclear whether remaining left-wing presidential candidates will want the FARC's backing, though all are staunch supporters of the peace deal.

Peace talks dominated elections in 2014.

That, and the group's weak showing in the election may cause more of its members to join the dissidents who are still fighting the government, he said.

Sunday's primaries - in which Duque won nearly 42 percent more votes than Petro did - were considered a better test of voter support than often inaccurate opinion polls, although some voters will have participated strategically and may not back either victor in the presidential vote.

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