Colombia’s Congress Approves Peace Accord With FARC
Colombia’s Congress approved a revised peace accord with the country’s largest rebel group on Wednesday night, a vote that was most likely the final hurdle in ratifying the troubled agreement whose earlier version had been rejected in a referendum this fall. By pushing the new deal through Congress, the government bypassed voters this time, who had turned down the accord by a narrow margin on Oct. 2. Both the Senate and House of Representatives, controlled by President Juan Manuel Santos’s governing coalition, voted overwhelmingly for the agreement. But congressional opponents of the deal had walked out of the chamber in protest before the vote took place. On Twitter, Mr. Santos expressed “gratitude to Congress for approving the new accords.” His chief rival and predecessor, Álvaro Uribe, in an earlier Twitter post, said the congressional action was an attempt to replace a popular mandate. Mr. Santos’s opponents in the Congress were furious the new accord had been pushed through with what they said was too little time to either comment or review the changes. The president, who has staked his legacy on ending the long conflict with the rebel group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, consulted his opponents shortly after the referendum was defeated, but he has largely kept them in the dark since, they said. The Congress’s vote brings to a close what had become one of the country’s biggest political dramas in decades.
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