BOGOTA – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos signed a decree this Tuesday calling citizens to the polls on Oct. 2 to answer this question on the peace agreement reached with the FARC: Do you support the final accord for ending the conflict and constructing a stable, long-lasting peace?
“Today we take one further step toward peace. Thanks to the Congress of the Republic, which with an overwhelming majority and in record time has endorsed the call for a referendum that I presented it with last Thursday, that referendum is now a reality,” Santos said at the Casa de Nariño presidential palace.
Accompanied by his Cabinet ministers, who also signed the decree, the president said the question Colombians must answer with a “Yes” or “No” is: “Do you support the final accord for ending the conflict and constructing a stable, long-lasting peace?”
This vote, to be held on Sunday, Oct. 2, “is clear, simple, and leaves no room for confusion,” he said.
President Santos stated that the question aims to determine whether “the people approve or not the exact words that appear in the agreement.”
He also said there’s nothing confusing about the question because “it’s not about whether Colombians want peace or not, but is rather very specific about whether they support the final accord or not.”
Colombia’s Congress gave Santos the go-ahead Monday to call a popular referendum on the peace accord with the FARC in order to end the armed conflict that has gone on for 52 years.
If the peace accord is approved at the polls, a legislative package will go to Congress that will be processed with a special procedure that will allow the application of the agreements reached in Havana.
In the referendum vetted last July 18 by the Constitutional Court, the “Si” option must obtain a minimum of 13 percent of the vote, which means it will need a minimum of 4,396,626 votes to be approved.