Colombia elects Ivan Duque as new president

Published: June 18, 2018 11:05:38 | Updated: June 21, 2018 15:51:07

Presidential candidate Ivan Duque gestures after casting his vote at a polling station, during the presidential election in Bogota, Colombia June 17, 2018. Reuters.

Conservative political newcomer Ivan Duque has been elected president of Colombia.

At a victory rally in the capital Bogota, he pledged to unite the country following a divisive campaign.

But he said he wants to see changes to the historic but controversial peace deal agreed with Farc rebels in 2016.

Duque, who won 54% of the vote, says he will overhaul the agreement that guaranteed the rebels seats in Congress and allowed them to contest elections, reports BBC.

He also says he will impose tougher punishments on crimes allegedly committed by the rebels during the brutal five-decade conflict with the government.

"With humility and honour, I tell the Colombian people that I will give all my energies to unite our country. No more divisions," he told a crowd of jubilant supporters.

"I will not govern with hatred."

Duque is viewed as the business-friendly choice because he wants to cut taxes and boost investment, raising money by shrinking the state.

His running mate, Marta Lucía Ramirez, will become Colombia's first female vice-president.

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