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2014 Election Blog: Colombia Heads to a Presidential Runoff


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After a contentious race, no candidate earned the necessary 50 percent to avoid a runoff. (AP)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Colombia's May 25 presidential vote saw low turnout and a divided electorate, as candidate Óscar Iván Zuluaga edged out President Juan Manuel Santos in a first round. With over 99 percent of the votes counted, Zuluaga garnered about 29.3 percent of the vote; Santos came in second with roughly 25.7 percent. As no candidate earned the necessary 50 percent to avoid a runoff, Santos and Zuluaga will face off in a second-round vote on June 15.

In total, five candidates appeared on the ballot. The Conservative Party's Marta Lucía Ramírez took the third spot with 15.5 percent, and the Democratic Pole/Patriotic Union Alliance's Clara López won just over 15.2 percent. The Green Alliance's Enrique Peñalosa came in last with about 8 percent.

Aside from the split results, voter apathy ran high. Only 40 percent of eligible voters turned up to cast a vote, and 6 percent of those who did cast a "blank vote," preferring not to pick any candidate. And though over half a million Colombian expats are eligible to vote abroad, overseas absention ran even higher at around 80 percent.



Check out quotes, videos, and more about today's presidential vote:



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