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On Colombia’s first presidential election: In the shadow of FARC

Colombia’s first presidential election since the landmark 2016 peace deal with the FARC Marxist(मार्क्सवादी ) guerrillashas thrown up the youngest winner in its history. But the victory of the 41-year-old right-wing candidate, Iván Duque, raises questions for the future of the agreement negotiated(बातचीत के जरिए/तय करना) by the Nobel Peace Prize-winning outgoing President, Juan Manuel Santos. Mr. Duque, a relative political novice(शुरू करनेवाला/शुरू करनेवाला , beat his rival, Gustavo Petro, an erstwhile insurgent(विद्रोहीराज-द्रोही), by a 12 percentage point margin in Sunday’s run-off. Mr. Duque’s victory is likely to help the conservatives(रूढ़िवादी व्यक्ति/परंपरावादियों) further consolidate(मजबूत) their gains in the Congress, where the centrists led by Mr. Santos remain weakened. Mr. Duque’s decade-long work experience with the Inter-American Development Bank perhaps partly explains his programme of economic orthodoxy — to cut corporate taxes and create a conducive(अनुकूल/सहायक) climate(जलवायु) for investment in the oil sector. A protégé(शागिर्द) of the conservative former President Álvaro Uribe, Mr. Duque can count on backing from his mentor’s Democratic Centre party. There is some concern, however, that the veteran(अनुभवी) politician could exert undue influence(प्रभाव/प्रतिष्ठा). This is especially so because Mr. Duque, like many on the political right, has been sceptical of the peace agreement with the rebels(विद्रोहियों/), and Mr. Uribe had actively opposed the referendum on the deal. The grant of amnesty(सबकी माफ़ी/सर्व-क्षमा) to the extremists(चरमपंथियों) and codified(संहिता )guarantees of representation(प्रतिनिधित्व) in the Congress, to ensure a smooth passage into the political mainstream, have proved the most contentious(विवादास्पद/विवाद-ग्रस्त) provisions(प्रावधानों/ख़ुराक). As President, Mr. Duque may be more disposed to adopting a moderate stance.

The outcome in the run-off was not surprising given the steady(नियमित/साबित) marginalisation of centrist forces, leaving the field open to the extremes. In March, the contender from the Revolutionary Alternative Common Force(FARC), the rebel movement refashioned as a political party with a name that retains its former acronym(संक्षिप्त रूप), quit the presidential race. After violent attacks on its candidates, it had suspended its campaign(अभियान) for the Congressional election. The FARC’s withdrawal from the contest marked a setback for the central plank(सहारा/तख्ता) of the peace process — the rebels’ right to run for public office in return for the surrender of arms. It also illustrates(दिखाता है/उदाहरण देना) the tenuous nature of the accord overall, as the judicial and other mechanisms to advance its objectives are still not in place. A return to civil peace after a protracted conflict(संघर्ष), in which hundreds of thousands were killed and many more displaced, is a painstaking(मेहनती/सावधान) process that, above all, calls for firm moral and political conviction(सजा/आस्था). The legacy Mr. Santos leaves behind is the courage he mustered to clinch the controversial peace accord with the perpetrators(अपराधियों) of the worst brutalities(निर्दयता/ज्यादतियों )for half a century. Mr. Duque, who assumes(कल्पना करना) office in August, will be judged in terms of the distance he can travel to make the Colombian dream an enduring(सहनीय/टिकाऊ) reality.

Important Vocabulary

Synonyms: lumber, platform, slab, timber, deal

Synonyms: revolutionary, anarchical, contumacious, disobedient, factious
Antonyms: obedient, subordinate

Synonyms: helpful, useful, accessory, calculated to produce
Antonyms: useless, worthless, adverse, discouraging, hindering

Synonyms: antagonistic, combative, testy, argumentative, belligerent

Synonyms: abiding, surviving, permanent

6.Brutalities(निर्दयता/ज्यादतियों )
Synonyms:atrocity, barbarism, barbarity, cruelty, inhumanity
Antonyms: kindness, gentleness, humaneness, niceness

Synonyms: assassin, criminal, executioner, perpetrator, soldier



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