The Colombian people narrowly decided last night to reject the peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which was aimed at putting an end to the war that has been raging in the country over 50 years. The Colombian President said earlier last week that his government does not have a back-up plan if the people decide to reject the ceasefire.
Colombians, last night Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
In contrast to the pre-referendum polls’ results, the Colombian people rejected last night (Sunday) the negotiated peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). For over 50 years, the two sides have been engaged in a bloody war.
With 99% of the votes counted, it looks like the majority of Colombians decided to reject the historic ceasefire with the rebel group. 50.23% of the voters rejected the deal while 49.76% approved it, a difference of just 52,000 votes. The results were surprising given the fact that the pre-referendum polls predicted that the ceasefire would be approved by the majority of the Colombian people, as reported by JOL last week. Just yesterday, a poll predicted that at least 75% of the voters would vote in support of the deal.
Last week, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that his government does not have a back-up plan in case the public rejects the deal. “We must put an end to the 52-year war and make way for peace, which will bring us a better future,” said Santos shortly after he casted his vote. “Peace is the only way to promise our children and grandchildren a better country.”
Polling stations were under tight security Photo Credit: Reuters/Channel 2 News
Meanwhile, a senior level FARC member responded to the referendum results and said that despite them, the organization will still maintain the ceasefire with the government. “[The FARC] will continue to use only use words as its main weapon,” said the official.