Timochenko, the commander of Colombia’s largest leftist rebel group FARC, said Sunday that nobody in his organisation is seeking to become president in the event peace is signed with the government.
If peace is signed, the FARC will stop being determined to a terrorist group and become a political organization.
However, the prospect of members of the FARC — accused of thousands of human rights violations — occupying top positions in government can count on major resistance among Colombia, according to opinion polls.
Rodrigo Londoño, a.k.a. “Timochenko” indicated that the goal of the FARC, should they enter parliamentary politics is to work towards a lasting, sustainable peace rather than the political advancement of its membership.
“A great advantage of us is that in the command of the FARC no one is working towards being president or minister,” said the guerrilla leader in an interview with Russian channel RT.
As the peace accords near the ratification stage, the Colombian public are anxious for clarification on what shape the FARC movement will take once they enter politics.
The rebels are currently in the process of laying down their arms following a 52-year struggle against the state and Timochenko sought to clarify that their primary target now is peace.
“We are a political movement in arms. We’ll leave the weapons, but we keep our political character,” said the rebel leader adding that “our idea is to join forces at this early stage to lay the basis for genuine social justice and peace.”
The participation of the FARC rebels in the politics has been met with severe criticism with some considering it to be a reward for terrorism, questioning the Santos administration for providing them with a political platform.
However according to a recent poll conducted by Pulso Pais, the percentage of respondents who said they “agree” with “the high command of the FARC participating in politics” rose from 18% last May to 26% in July.
The poll surveyed a variety of public opinions and indicated that as the talks continue to progress, public confidence is improving with a 57% rise in those who believe that the FARC will sign the final agreement.
The FARC and the government of Juan Manuel Santos have been negotiating since November 2012 in Havana to end of more than a half century of armed conflict.
Both parties have reached partial agreements within six points of the agenda including: agricultural issues, reparation for victims, political participation, drug trafficking, abandonment of weapons and validation of the final peace agreement.
The pending issues on each part of the agenda are expected to be resolved in the coming weeks with the deal being put to the Colombian public in a plebiscite by November at the latest.
Colombia’s conservative opposition, led by former President Alvaro Uribe, will promote a “No” vote in the plebiscite.
- Timochenko dice que nadie de la dirección de las Farc aspira a ser presidente (W Radio)
- Pulso País: 57% cree que el proceso de paz se va firmar con las Farc (W Radio)