Former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos has easily won the first-round in Colombia’s presidential poll.
Although he fell short of the crucial 50 per cent tally which would have given him an outright win, his surprise showing of 47 percent of votes puts him in a strong position for a run-off in June.
Santos’s rival, Green party candidate and former Mayor of Bogota , Antanas Mockus only managed 22 per cent, despite being tipped to give Santos a closer run race.
He will now have to re-think his campaign if he is to make any in roads into Santos’s support during the second round.
Popular President, Alvaro Uribe is not standing this time round as Colombia’s constitution prevents him from contesting a third term.
Santos is a close ally of Uribe – his win is seen as an affirmation of the outgoing president’s security and economic policies.