Former FARC guerrilla leader Rodrigo Londoño, aka Timochenko, has ended his presidential campaign for health reasons following heart surgery.
Even prior to the coronary emergency, Timochenko had already stopped campaigning after ongoing protests and security concerns. Though a component of the group’s peace deal with the government, finalized in late 2016, includes representation for the political party in Congress, the FARC leader had previously pledged not to participate in the presidential election.
Across Colombia, there has been widespread outcry against a candidate running for the political party of the now-demobilized armed faction, which was formerly known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and chose to retain the FARC acronym in Spanish, rebranding as the Alternative Revolutionary Force for the Common People.
Timochenko, 59, with a history of health problems, had been trailing in the polls with virtually no popular support. In a poll conducted by CNC (Centro Nacional de Consultoría) for CM& this week, he received less than 1% of responses among those who intend to vote in the May election.
Left-leaning candidate Gustavo Petro of the Colombian Humana Mais party led the poll at 21% following closely by right-wing Centro Democratico candidate Iván Duque at 18%.
Other notable candidates receiving support in the poll were Sergio Fajardo (12%), Marta Ramírez (11%), Germán Vargas Lleras (7%), Humberto de la Calle (4%), and Alejandro Ordoñez (3%).