Colombia’s president has said that he has no regrets about ending a six-year-old peace deal, despite the fact that he was never able to reach a final deal.
President Juan Manuel Santos, who was re-elected on Sunday, was elected to a fifth term in office after a five-year break that saw the signing of a peace deal in 2013 and the signing by both parties of a ceasefire agreement in 2015.
However, Mr Santos is yet to reach an agreement on a new constitution or national budget, a key issue that was the subject of bitter opposition and was one of the factors that led to a landslide victory for his rival, former President Alvaro Uribe, in the election last year.
Mr Santos, a former military leader, has said he would have preferred a peace accord with all parties to be reached, but acknowledged that it is still “very difficult” to reach it.
The latest agreement was signed on Saturday.
“I am going to continue my path of diplomacy, and I am going for the political outcome,” Mr Santos told the news conference, referring to the signing on Saturday of the new peace deal.
“If you don’t do what I do, you will be judged for that.
It will not be easy.”‘
A lot of things will be missed’The latest deal comes as Colombia’s political situation remains tense and the country is still struggling to get back on its feet after a series of deadly incidents in recent years.
In April, President Santos said that the deal was “an example of the political will to keep the country together” but said he wanted the peace process to “grow up”.
He also promised to step down from office in 2021 if he could not reach an accord.
On Tuesday, Colombia’s Supreme Court ruled that the agreement was unconstitutional, but it is yet again proving a stumbling block to progress.
According to Colombian daily El Diario, Mr Uribe’s presidential rivals have demanded that Mr Santos resign as president and that his term be extended to 2019.
But on Saturday, Mr Sáez said he was still confident that the new deal will be passed.
“I have no regrets,” he said.
While Mr Séez had said he wished the new agreement would have been signed, he added that he had no illusions about how difficult it would be to reach the agreement.
“There are a lot of issues that will be missing,” he added.