09-05-19: Latin American Weekly Report
Cortizo triumphs in tight Panamanian electoral contest
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos won re-election on 15 June, over- turning a deficit of some 450,000 votes to his rival Óscar Iván Zuluaga in the first round to win by more than 900,000 in the run-off (51%-45%). There were a number of factors behind Santos’s reversal of fortune but the most decisive, as he himself acknowledged, was the resolve of Colombia’s left- wing parties to rally behind his re-election in the interests of ending the country’s decades-long armed conflict. Just four years earlier he came to power backed by the Right. Santos has not traversed the political spectrum in the meantime but his determined pursuit of peace won over sceptics on the Left just as it alienated the Right which coalesced around Zuluaga.
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