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Colombians vote for president

May 30, 2010 - COLOMBIA

President Alvaro Uribe, who is still popular enough for a third win, won't be allowed to run because of a two term limit. The main candidates, two-time mayor of Bogota known for his anti-corruption stance, Antanas Mockus, and former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos, have indicated they will continue Uribe's security campaign against leftist FARC rebels and cocaine traffickers and his pro-business approach. A recent poll gives Mokus a slight lead.

President Alvaro Uribe, who is still popular enough to win, won't be allowed to run because of a two term limit. The main candidates, two-time mayor of Bogota known for his anti-corruption stance, Antanas Mockus, and former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos, have indicated they will continue Uribe's security campaign against leftist FARC rebels and cocaine traffickers and his pro-business approach. A recent poll gives Mokus a slight lead. There will be a run-off in June if neither candidate secures enough support for an outright win. Conservative Party candidate Noemi Sanin is also in with a chance. Uribe is widely credited with restoring security and stability to Colombia, which endured four decades of guerrilla war and drug cartel shootouts, but the country's economic downturn could eat into his poll numbers. His recent deal with the United States to extend US troop levels under the mutual assistance pact, Plan Colombia, is causing controversy that could also undermine support for the policy at the ballot box. UPDATED May 2010

Colombia's Uribe still faces election hurdles (Reuters 2 Sep 2009)

South American leaders attack US bases plan (AFP 28 Aug 2009)

Date written/update: 2010-05-30