A survey has found that 66% of Colombia’s population disagree with the way President Juan Manuel Santos is running the country, with 72% saying that they would not vote for him were he to run for re-election next year.
The survey was carried out by Datexco for newspaper El Tiempo and radio station La W, who released the results on Thursday.
Just 30% of the population have a favorable image of the President, while 60% look on him unfavorably. Some 74% disapprove of the way he is running the government, and 77% are against the way he is handling national security.
Significantly, 69% of the population disagree with the way he has handled the peace talks with rebel group FARC, which have seen little progress since they began last November. Indeed, 67% believe that the peace process will fall through, while 76% think that the FARC have no intention of signing a peace agreement.
According to the survey, the front-runners for next year’s presidential elections include German Vargas, with 49% of the country saying that they would vote for him, although only 62% have a favorable image of him, compared to 76% in March. General Oscar Naranjo would receive 45% of the votes, and he is viewed the most favorably of all the candidates, registering 75%.
Clara Lopez, the candidate for the Polo party, would receive just 26% of the votes. While on 24% sits the President’s cousin, Francisco Santos, the main candidate for former President Alvaro Uribe‘s party.
PROFILE: Clara Lopez
Who Colombia would vote for:
The survey was based on a mixed sample of 1000 people from Colombia’s main cities: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, Barranquilla, Bucaramanga, and Cartagena. Participants were asked the questions over the phone between October 8-12.
While the survey shows that President Santos is still viewed negatively by the vast majority of the population, he has at least regained some popularity since a Datexco poll in early September reported that 78% of the population said that they would not vote for him for re-elction. At that time, in the midst of agrarian strikes crippling the country, Santos’ chances of re-election were rated at a paltry 19%.