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| 5/31/2010 12:00:00 AM

Santos handily wins first round of Colombian presidential election

May 31st--A former defense minister who would continue President Álvaro Uribe's tough anti-guerrilla policies handily defeated a former Bogota mayor Sunday in the first round of presidential elections.

Juan Manuel Santos, 58, who oversaw the most decisive strikes against rebel forces, did not garner the simple majority needed to win outright. But his lead over the second-place finisher, Antanas Mockus, was so commanding that he is likely to win the presidency in a second round of voting on June 20.

"It's quite a landslide," said Cynthia Arnson, a Colombia scholar at Washington's Woodrow Wilson Center. "It pretty much seems to me that Santos has a lock on the second round."

Santos took 46.6 percent of the vote -- or 6.7 million voters, more than double the 3.1 million who voted for Mockus. In the second round, he can count on many of the pro-Uribe voters who backed Germán Vargas Lleras, the third-place finisher, and Noemi Sanin, a former Uribe administration diplomat who finished a distant fifth.

Mockus, also 58, had risen in the polls in recent weeks, appealing to voters captivated by his message of delivering clean government. "Mockus is talking about building confidence, of a positive attitude in addressing the nation's problems," said Ernesto Correa, 56, a doctor.
 
Read more here.
 
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EDICIÓN 1829

PORTADA

Gran encuesta presidencial

Vargas Lleras arranca fuerte, Petro está estancado, Fajardo tiene cómo crecer y los partidos tradicionales andan rezagados. Entre los uribistas, Ramos se ve fuerte. Y Santos tiene 35 por ciento de aceptación. Gran encuesta de Invamer para Caracol Televisión, Blu Radio y SEMANA.