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| 3/15/2010 12:00:00 AM

Colombia congress vote aids Santos presidential bid

March 15--Colombian presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos’s La U party led in congressional elections held yesterday, consolidating his position as front-runner to succeed Alvaro Uribe.

The four main parties that have backed Uribe during the past eight years were projected to win 66 of 102 seats in the Senate, El Tiempo newspaper reported, citing the National Registry. La U, which has pledged to maintain Uribe’s security and economic policies if former defense minister Santos wins the May 30 presidential election, was poised to gain 27 seats with 94 percent of votes counted.

“It’s very likely the next president will emerge from the political parties that support Uribe,” said Alberto Ramos, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc. economist, in a telephone interview. “If those parties maintain their hold in Congress, the next president will benefit from relatively strong governability conditions.”

Colombians chose all 102 senators and 166 representatives in the elections, which officials said went off with little violence after rebels had threatened to disrupt the vote.
 
Read more here.
 
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