Colombia’s largest rebel group has said that electoral interests should not undermine public support for its ongoing peace negotiations with the Colombian government, the RCN radio network reported.
FARC representatives said that voters should not let their stances on a potential peace agreement, which would bring an end to the rebel group’s 50-year armed conflict with the government, be “manipulated by electoral interests.”
|Colombia’s 2014 elections|
“We have observed that each candidate has advertised their support for a political solution to the conflict. While they were stubborn before, now the candidates are struggling to sell their peace proposals,” sad FARC representative, Andres Paris.
“We will not let ourselves be harrassed and refuse to be part of anyone’s electoral agenda,” Paris added, “Our campaign is for peace.”
Regarding the elections, Paris said that the FARC will be patiently awaiting the results of the election, which according to the guerilla, “should not interupt the progress that is occurring in [the] Havana [peace negotiations],” regardless of who wins.
Paris’ comments came as the parties entered the 25th round of talks since the start of the formal peace process in November 2012.
The negotiations will conclude on May 22, three days before Colombia’s presidential elections, in which President Juan Manuel Santos will be vying for a second term, largely on the perceived success of the peace talks.
Of the five candidates currently campaigning for office, three actively support the peace process. Conservative Party (Partido Conservador) candidate Marta Lucia Ramirez has expressed her mixed support, while Democratic Center (Centro Democratico) candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga has been a staunch opponent, along with party leader Alvaro Uribe Velez.