GO
Loading...

UPDATE 1-Colombia's Santos says to stand for re-election in 2014

Wednesday, 20 Nov 2013 | 7:19 PM ET

(Adds background)

BOGOTA, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said on Wednesday he would seek a second term in office next May, a widely expected decision that could offer him another four years to pursue a peace process he initiated with Marxist FARC rebels.

"I want a Colombia that is at peace and prosperous for all," Santos said in an address to the nation.

Santos, 62, a Harvard-educated journalist and son of one of the nation's most influential families, will take on opposition candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga in a campaign likely to focus on how peace with the rebels would transform Colombian society after five decades of war.

Neither candidate is likely to upset investors as both are former finance ministers and seen as market friendly. Economic growth has slowed in the last year on the back of weak overseas demand for local industrial goods but output is expected to pick up in the coming months, and provide a boost to Santos.

Still, Zuluaga, a one-time senator and provincial mayor, charges that FARC negotiations have damaged the $360 billion economy. He accuses Santos of offering the rebels too many concessions and pushing talks so as to enter the history books.

Santos began negotiations with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) a year ago.

(Reporting by Bogota newsroom; Editing by Sandra Maler)