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| 6/22/2010 12:00:00 AM

Another strong leader for Colombia

June 22--Santos election bodes well for important U.S. ally.

Now that he has clinched victory in Sunday's runoff election, Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos faces the formidable task of continuing the successful policies of outgoing President Alvaro Uribe while simultaneously putting his own stamp on the new government that takes office in August.

Mr. Santos will have a lot going for him in his new role. He won a strong popular mandate -- 69 percent of the vote -- and will enjoy an ample legislative majority. As president, he will govern a country that became far more stable during Mr. Uribe's eight-year tenure, thanks to tough counter-insurgency measures and a 10-year, $6 billion investment by the United States in Plan Colombia.

As a former defense minister, Mr. Santos is both well-known to American officials and rightly deserves a share of the credit for Plan Colombia. Indeed, many Colombians associate him with several winning military actions, including the attack against a rebel camp in Ecuador in 2008 and the rescue of 15 hostages, including three Americans.
 
Read more here.
 
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