Hardline Uribe elected Colombian president

 

Hardliner Mr Alvaro Uribe has been elected president of Colombia in a resounding victory.

President-elect Mr Alvaro Uribe celebrates his victory Photo: Reuters

Choking back tears in a victory speech, Mr Uribe said he was prepared to talk peace with illegal armed groups of left and right but they must lay down their weapons.

In a campaign dogged with threats of violence, Mr Uribe cut back on public appearances after he was almost killed in April by a bomb blamed on FARC. Mr Uribe's father was killed in a shootout with the FARC in the early 1980s.

With 98 per cent of the votes counted, election officials say Mr Uribe is leading with 52.8 per cent, compared to 31.8 per cent for former interior minister Mr Horacio Serpa.