Colombia: FARC face first ever electoral test in congressional vote

The congressional vote took place in Colombia on Sunday, with the former FARC rebels running for office, as shown in footage filmed in the capital of Bogota. «These elections are very special; it is the first time in more than half a century, when the FARC [the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, now Revolutionary Alternative Common Force], instead of sabotaging the elections, are... Еще participating in them,» said the Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos after casting his vote at Bolivar Square. The President also stressed the importance of the ceasefire announced by the Colombia's last-standing guerrilla group ELN [National Liberation Army] at the end of February, saying: «What does that mean? That these elections will be the calmest and the most peaceful ones in the recent history of the country.» According to local reports, more than 36 million Colombians are eligible to vote. However, only around four millions people voted so far, despite the fact that the polling stations close in a couple of hours [at 21:00 GMT]. FARC fought the Colombian government for more than over 50 years before signing a peace deal with the government in 2016. The organisation has since transformed into a political party under the name Revolutionary Alternative Common Force, retaining its FARC initials.

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