Colombians start to vote in presidential election

08:24, May 31, 2010      

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The presidential election of Colombia kicked off at 08:00 a.m. local time (1300 GMT) and over 29 millions voters will head to the polling stations to elect a successor to incumber President Alvaro Uribe.

The National Registry of Civil Status of Colombia set up 10,271 polling stations all over Colombia and in other 60 countries. The polling stations will open at 08:00 a.m. local time and close at 16:00 (2100 GMT)

There are nine candidates on the ballot, but recent polls results indicated the election would be a battle between Social Party of National Unity's candidate Manual Santos and Green Party's Antanas Mockus,who gained more supports among the Colombians.

Opinion polls also showed that no one is likely to secure an outright victory by garnering over 50 percent of the vote. If that happens, under the Colombian Constitution, Santos and Mockus, the two possible top winners, will compete in a runoff scheduled for June 20.

Among the registered candidates are Conservative Party's candidate Noemi Sanin, the Alternative Democratic Pole's Gustavo Petro, German Vargas Lleras of the Radical Change and Rafael Pardo of the Liberal Party.

Some 350,000 police were mobilized in the security operation during the voting to quell possible attacks by armed rebel groups, especially the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.



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