Early returns in Colombia's parliamentary elections indicated a major victory for the Liberal Party of President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen over the Conservatives.
Early returns in Colombia's parliamentary elections indicated a major victory for the Liberal Party of President Alfonso Lopez Michelsen over the Conservatives. The elections began on Sunday (26 February) and were marked for a lack of interest among the South American republic's 12.3 million voters. Up to 70 per cent of them stayed away from the polls in a show of apathy which was surprising even to political analysts who had predicated a low turnout.
SYNOPSIS: Some of those who did turn out, showed much enthusiasm, shouting loud support for their candidates.
There had been rumours that Colombia's armed forces were preparing to seize power, but they were countered by their commander who declared: "Democracy is the reason for their existence".
The Mayor of Bogota, the Colombian capital, was among one of those who did. The voters were electing members of Congress to four-year terms as well as local government representatives. Scuffles broke out among rival supporters with the arrival at a polling station of Senor Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, former Foreign Minister of Colombia. He and former President Carlos Lleras Restrepo are the Liberals' two leading contenders for their nomination in Presidential elections due in June. The Party, split between supporter of the two men, has agreed that the contender whose supporters win the most seats will automatically get the Presidential nomination.