Colombians would approve peace accord with FARC in plebiscite

World Friday 02/September/2016 18:51 PM
By: Times News Service
Colombians would approve peace accord with FARC in plebiscite

Bogota: Colombians would vote in favour of a peace deal between the government and Marxist FARC rebels even as the nation remains deeply divided over the agreement, local media reported on Friday, citing a poll.
After almost four years of complicated talks in Havana, the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) agreed last week to end a five-decade war that has killed more than 220,000 and displaced millions.
A poll by Cifras y Conceptos, the first since the agreement was reached, showed that 62 per cent of Colombians who decide to participate in the plebiscite would vote in favour of the deal, local radio station Caracol reported on Friday.
The poll says 28 per cent would vote against and 10 per cent are still undecided, Caracol reported. Reuters did not immediately have access to the poll.
Colombians will decide during a plebiscite on October 2 whether they approve of the accord.
Voters will be asked to respond yes or no to a single question: "Do you support the accord that puts an end to armed conflict and constructs a stable and durable nation?"
Some 4.5 million votes need to be cast for a yes or no win.
The question has been criticised by opposition legislators for being too one-sided toward a yes vote.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who has staked his legacy on peace, has launched a campaign to convince Colombians to back the accord. But he faces fierce opposition from powerful sectors of the country - including popular right-wing hardliner Alvaro Uribe - who believe the only solution is to finish the FARC militarily.
Still, while many are upset with the terms of the agreement, they see it as the only way to end the conflict.
Under the 297-page accord, FARC leaders accused of crimes will serve alternative punishments including clearing land mines in order to be cleared for political participation.
The 7,000-strong rebel group will also be given non-voting congressional representation until 2018 and from then until 2026 receive 10 voting seats whether they have electoral support or not.
The poll of 2,305 people was conducted between August 26 and 31 in 35 cities and towns across the nation and had a margin or error of 2.2 per cent.