• Short Summary

    In Colombia, the Liberal Party candidate, Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, has won the Presidential elections.?

  • Description

    GV: campaigners for election candidates with troops mingling among voters (3 shots)

    GV: mayor of Bogota Bernardo Gaitan Mahecha arriving at opening ceremony of voting.

    SV: fanfare by trimpeters and Gaitan opening voting. (2 shots)

    CU: election box being sealed with wax.

    SV: votes being cast and fingers being inked. (2 shots)

    GV-SV: house and Turbay family leaving (2 shots)

    SV: Presidential candidate Julio Cesar Turbay arriving with wife and casting vote. (3 shots)

    GV TILT UP FROM: rain soaked street TO voting booths with people voting. (4 shots)

    The pact between the Conservative and Liberal parties was signed in 1957 to bring to an end a decade of bitter and bloody fighting between political factions in Colombia, during which an estimated 300,000 people were killed. Senor Turbay succeeds President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen, a fellow Liberal who was not allowed to stand for re-election under the terms of the Colombian constitution.

    Initials RH/1935

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: In Colombia, the Liberal Party candidate, Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, has won the Presidential elections. He beat his closest rival, the Conservative candidate Belisario Betancur, by 100,000 votes. Polling day, on Sunday (4 June) was relatively quiet after disturbances during the last week of election campaigning.

    SYNOPSIS: Colombians have a reputation for being reluctant to vote. In the capital, Bogota, enthusiastic campaigners were faced with a difficult task. On election day over 60 per cent of the country's 12 million eligible voters decided to stay at home. Recent bomb attacks in several cities and frequent demonstrations appeared to have disillusioned the electorate about the effectiveness of voting.

    The mayor of Bogota Senor Bernardo Gaitan Mahecha opened voting, which followed a fierce campaign battle between the nine candidates.

    Many of the presidential candidates accused their opponents of corruption. Each promised to control the social problems of Colombia - inflation running at over 20 per cent, an increasingly disorganised coffee industry and widespread trades union discontent.

    The election marked the end of a 20-year Conservative-Liberal pact to alternate power every four years.

    Senor Turbay was strongly tipped to win the election. Apart from the difficulties he faces as President of a nation riddled with social unrest - he also has to heal a serious rift in his own Liberal party. The Conservative candidate, Senor Betancur had similar problems - his party is split into many factions. According to the London Times newspaper Senor Turbays success was partly due to his forceful campaign tactics -- waged amid claims that he was involved in drug trafficking to the United States. An American television documentary made earlier this year linked him with the smuggling of cocaine. Senor Turbay strongly denied the allegations and his success suggests that they had little effect on voters.

    Although the election marks a return to a more conventional form of democracy than power swopping between the major parties, Senor Turbay is still obliged to provide the opposition with an adequate share of government offered a choice for the first time in 20 years, Colombian voters did not respond enthusiastically. The low turnout reflected not only the habit of non-involvement but also general dissatisfaction with both major parties.

    Typical graffati on Bogata walls read: "Don't vote for anyone- no President helps the poor".

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    Reuters - Source to be Verified
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