President Juan Manuel Santos hinted on Wednesday that he could opt to implement a new peace accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) through Congress instead of another plebiscite.
The announcement comes one month after voters narrowly rejected a peace accord between the government and FARC — a shocking result that has plunged the country into political turmoil.
“In the near future, we will have a new agreement, and I will have the ability to implement it through Congress,” Santos said during a state visit to England.
Since the October 2 plebiscite, Santos has met with leaders of the campaign against the accord to consider proposed adjustments to the agreement. More than 400 adjustments were submitted, according to local newspaper El Tiempo.
The government’s negotiating team, led by Humberto de la Calle and Sergio Jaramillo, has travelled to Havana to discuss the proposed tweaks with the FARC.
Santos remains optimistic about reaching a new accord, saying he hoped to have a new agreement with the rebel group in November. The war has killed 220,000 people and displaced more than five million since the 1960s.
Voters rejected the previous accord on October 2 by a razor-thin margin of 53,894 votes out of a total of nearly 13 million cast.