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Monday, March 12, 2018, 15:17
Colombian primaries name 2018 presidential candidates
By Xinhua
Monday, March 12, 2018, 15:17 By Xinhua

A woman hands out photocopies of ballots for one of the two main political blocs holding primary elections at the same time of the parliamentary elections in Colombia, after the originals ran out, in Cali, Colombia, on March 11, 2018. (LUIS ROBAYO / AFP)

BOGOTA - Colombian primaries on Sunday led to the nomination of two presidential candidates, representing the country's left and right wing coalitions respectively.

Gustavo Petro, of the Alternative Indigenous and Social Movement (MAIS) and Humane Colombia, emerged as the candidate of the left, with 80.97 percent of the votes tallied.

Former Bogota mayor Petro garnered more than 2.3 million votes. His rival Carlos Caicedo of the Citizens Force party got a little more than 413,000 votes.

Gustavo Petro, of the Alternative Indigenous and Social Movement (MAIS) and Humane Colombia, emerged as the candidate of the left, with 80.97 percent of the votes tallied

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On the right, Ivan Duque, of the Democratic Center party, came out ahead, winning more than 3.35 million votes, or 67.8 percent of the total. His rivals, former minister Martha Lucia Ramirez won 25.71 percent and former attorney general Alejandro Ordonez received 6.48 percent.

Duque is backed by former hardline president Alvaro Uribe, a fierce opponent of President Juan Manuel Santos' administration and its peace initiatives with the country's guerrilla groups.

Santos, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end decades of fighting, has already served two terms and is ineligible to run again.

Presidential elections are to be held on May 27.

Colombia held congressional elections on Sunday to elect the 166 representatives and 102 senators of Congress, in what President Santos described as "the most peaceful elections" in decades thanks to peace talks with the country's guerrilla groups.

READ MORE: Ex-guerrilla launches historic presidential bid in Colombia

The former Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia is now the Revolutionary Alternative Common Force, a leftist political party that has candidates running for congressional seats.

Colombia's second-largest guerrilla force, the National Liberation Army (ELN), declared a unilateral three-day truce to allow voting to proceed without incident.

At the same time as the congressional elections, Colombians voted Sunday for presidential candidates of two key political groupings ahead of the May 27 elections.

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