Colombia: Santos wins first round —amid reports of widespread irregularities

Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos of the ruling Social Party of National Unity (“Partido de la U“) has won the first round in the May 30 election, but will now face a second-round run-off with Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus. Santos has 46.57% of the 14,760,255 votes counted, followed by Mockus with 21.49%. They are followed by Cambio Radical candidate German Vargas Lleras and the Polo Democratico‘s Gustavo Petro with about 10% each. The turnout was high, with 49% of eligible voters going to the polls, 4% more than in 2006. (Colombia Reports, May 30)

But the website, maintained by independent media and the Electoral Observation Mission, documents complaints about vote-buying, fraud, violence and other irregularities at polling places throughout the country. Most complaints concerned the buying of votes for Santos. (Colombia Reports, May 30)

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