Colombia president, FARC mum after shock defeat of peace deal in referendum

EPA / MIGUEL GUTIERREZ

Colombians living in Venezuela cast their vote for the referendum on the peace agreement between the government and FARC guerrila group in Caracas, Venezuela, 02 October 2016.

Colombia president, FARC mum after shock defeat of peace deal in referendum


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Colombians appear to have rejected the peace deal by razor-thin margin, in what is a major shock for the war-torn country .

With more than 99% of the  votes counted and as the results are all but final, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the FARC rebel movement are keeping quiet so far following what looks like a shock defeat of their peace deal in a national referendum Sunday.

FARC leader Ivan Marquez, reached by Caracol TV in Havana, declined to comment, saying consultations are underway before the rebel movement would make a pronouncement.

Santos has also been mum. Instead of showing up for what had been expected to be a celebration with supporters, he called his closest aides and government negotiators to an emergency meeting at the presidential palace.

Opponent of the accord have urged the government to reopen negotiations if it were to lose the referendum. But Santos earlier had ruled out that option, while the FARC had been adamant that the deal reached during four years of talks in Cuba was the best one possible for Colombia.

Opinion polls before Sunday’s referendum had predicted an easy victory for the “yes” side in the referendum called by Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos.

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