The FARC guerrilla group declared a new unilateral cease-fire with an eye toward the presidential election runoff to be held on June 15 in Colombia.
The cease-fire will be in effect from June 9 through June 30, FARC leader Timoleon Jimenez said in a letter to opposition presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, of the Democratic Center and a critic of the government’s peace negotiations with the guerrillas.
This is the second unilateral cease-fire declared by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, this year involving the elections, the first having been announced in conjunction with the National Liberation Army, or ELN, for May 20-28 surrounding the first presidential vote on May 25.
The smaller ELN, however, said Sunday that it will not declare a unilateral cease-fire for the runoff.
The ELN, Colombia’s second-largest guerrilla organization, said in a statement that it will respect the citizenry’s desire and right to vote in the election.
“We announce that we will respect the desire and the right of the voters to exercise their right to vote and, in that regard, we will not undertake activities that could affect them and we will not interrupt the electoral process,” the ELN said.
Zuluaga will face off in the runoff against President Juan Manuel Santos, who is seeking re-election as a candidate for the National Unity coalition.