In Columbia on Wednesday (7 June), a political storm threatened to overshadow the Liberal party candidate's victory in last Sunday's (4 June) presidential elections.
SV: Columbian Conservative presidential candidate Belisario Betancur speaking to newsmen.
GV & SV: Liberal presidential candidate Julio Cesar Turbay speaking to newsmen. (4 SHOTS)
On Tuesday (6 June), the National Registry gave Senor Turbay 2,303,034 votes against 2,216,675 for Senor Betancur. Seven minor candidates, including three Marxists, failed to make any impression in the elections, in which only 40 percent of the 12 a half million electorate bothered to vote.
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Background: In Columbia on Wednesday (7 June), a political storm threatened to overshadow the Liberal party candidate's victory in last Sunday's (4 June) presidential elections. His Conservative opponent refuged to concede defeat, saying the voting results were being manipulated.
SYNOPSIS: Conservative Belisario Betancur challenged the authenticity of the results issued by the official National Registry. With 97 percent of the votes counted on Tuesday (6 June) night, he trailed Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala by nearly 90,000 votes. Senor Betancur had, at one point, announced that he had won the election, but the Liberals dismissed this as a political ploy.
Senor Turbay, speaking at a post-election news conference, had already proclaimed himself 'President-elect'. He said his victory was "unquestionable". The final victor, whoever he is, will succeed Columbia's outgoing President-Alfonso Lopez Michelson. He will be the first Columbian president elected since the end of a 20-year pact between the Liberals and Conservative, under which they alternated in power every four years. Senor Turbay, a former ambassador to Washington, campaigned on promises of production and employment. If he is confirmed as President, he is expected to defend the international price of coffee, Columbia's main source of hard currency earnings.