Colombia's Juan Manuel Santos has won over 50 percent of the presidential vote, beating out opponent Oscar Ivar Zuluaga in a run-off election. Santos says his second term will usher in an era of peace.
According to Colombia's electoral board, incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos won Sunday's election with 50.95 percent of the vote. The figure was based on 99 percent of ballots counted. His opponent, Oscar Ivar Zuluaga, won roughly 45 percent of the vote.
Santos celebrated the victory on Sunday night, telling supporters their choice would mean more justice and less violence in the South American country.
"This is the end of more than 50 years of violence in our country and it is the beginning of a Colombia with more justice and social inclusion," Santos told cheering supporters. "In four years no one will regret having voted for us."
The call for an end to violence referred to Santos' goal of completing peace talks with the Marxist guerrilla group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Violence from the armed conflict has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives over the past five decades.
In 2012, Santos launched historic negotiations with the country's leftist armed group. Although progress has been made, negotiators have not been able to reach disarmament or comprehensive peace agreements with the rebels.
"This is not going to be peace with impunity. It will be a fair peace. We have to take the steps to ensure that it is not only fair, but lasting," Santos said.
No irregularities reported
Sunday's run-off election results flipped the outcome of the first vote on May 25. At the time, Zuluaga had led with 29 percent of the vote over Santos, who had secured only 26 percent.
Colombia's former two-term president, Alvaro Uribe, accused Santos of leading a dirty campaign, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Santos had bought votes, making Sunday's election "the biggest corruption in history," Uribe reportedly said on national television.
The former president also alleged that Zuluaga supporters had faced armed intimidation by leftist rebels.
These claims have not been corroborated with evidence from other sources.
kms/jr (AP, AFP, dpa)