Colombia’s ELN declares 10-day ceasefire for presidential vote

Colombia’s National Liberation Army (ELN) rebel group has announced a 10-day, unilateral ceasefire beginning next week, to allow elections to be held in the South American nation.

In a statement on Monday, the ELN said the pause in hostilities would run from May 25 until June 3 “so that those that want to vote can do so in peace”.

The group said it had taken the decision in its own interests to generate a “better atmosphere … so that we can see who could be the winning candidate”.

It added that it reserved the right to defend itself from attacks, however.

Colombians will head to the polls on May 29 to vote for a new president to lead the country until 2026.

Left-wing candidate Gustavo Petro and centre-right hopeful Federico Gutierrez lead opinion polls going into the first round of voting to replace President Ivan Duque.If neither candidate wins more than 50 percent of votes in the first round, a second vote will take place on June 19.

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