BOGOTA – Colombia’s Congress voted on Wednesday to confirm retired police Gen. Oscar Naranjo as the country’s new vice president.
Naranjo is President Juan Manuel Santos’ choice to replace German Vargas Lleras, who stepped down March 14 in preparation for a presidential run next year.
Santos, who was first elected in 2010, is barred from seeking a third term.
All but 21 of the 189 legislators present voted in favor of confirming Naranjo, who is to be sworn-in on Thursday.
In a message thanking Congress for its endorsement, Colombia’s former top cop said his only aspiration was to contribute to ensuring peace.
The 60-year-old former general has spent his adult life in public service and is credited with bringing the National Police into line with international standards during his tenure as head of the force.
In 2012, Naranjo accepted an appointment to the team representing the Santos administration in peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).
Those talks led to the signing of a pact to end 52 years of armed conflict in the Andean nation.
Overseeing the implementation of the agreement with the FARC will be a major element of Naranjo’s brief as vice president.