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10/2/16

Colombia: A possible referendum shock in the cards: UPDATE--shock confirmed, "NO" has won

Today's referendum to ratify the peace agreement between government and FARC was expected to get the approval vote it needed. Instead it's currently looking mightily close and may even finish being rejected by the Colombian people. According to Colombia's highly reliable Caracol Radio, with 90.66% of votes tallied it's 49.9% Yes, 50.1% No.

Wowsers.

Counting is still going on, but the general air of confidence around the government of Juan Manuel Santos has disappeared. Will update later.

UPDATE: For a live Spanish language TV feed from Colombia, this link. The NO vote now has 50.2% of the vote and the shock result is looking more likely. Blame is being put on the very low turnout which wasn't helped by the very heavy rainfall in Colombia in the last 24 hours. It would seem that the hardcore NO voters had more will to get to the voting booths.

UPDATE 2: With 98.85% of votes counted, it's now NO 50.2% and YES 49.8%. This referendum is now a done deal and Colombia has rejected the agreement between the government and FARC as stands.

The head of the NO vote campaign has just spoken on national TV and said they also want peace and will be responsible, but the agreement needs to be adjusted and improved in aspects that were "badly negotiated". He also called for compensation for victims and justice to act against FARC members. He also strongly criticized the polling companies that were predicting a 55% to 60% victory for "YES" all week, saying that they had been biased and ignored the silent majority of Colombians that were not happy with the terms of the peace agreement as stands.

UPDATE 3: The final result is in, 100% of votes counted:

YES: 6,356,638 votes
NO: 6,417,1651 votes

The peace process agreement has been rejected by Colombia. Hilarity ensues.