FARC begins transition from guerrilla group into political party

Source: Xinhua| 2017-08-28 06:45:10|Editor: yan
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BOGOTA, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla group on Sunday launched the process of transitioning into a political party that will continue its struggle for social justice, but from within the system.

Some 1,200 of the former armed rebels gathered in the capital Bogota for a national congress and constituent assembly to found their political party, which will have representation in Congress.

"Starting with this event, the FARC is transforming into a new exclusively political organization that will carry out its activities via legal means," top FARC leader Rodrigo Londono told the assembly.

"We will continue to fight for the creation of a democratic political system that will guarantee peace with social justice, respect for human rights, and economic development with wellbeing for all who live in Colombia," added Londono, who fought under the nom de guerre "Timochenko."

The party is likely to be named Colombia's Revolutionary Alternative Force, preserving the group's initials.

Colombia will hold presidential elections next year, but the new party is not expected to field its own candidate, instead endorsing the candidate that aims to comply with the peace accords reached between the FARC and the current administration of President Juan Manuel Santos.

Colombia's conservative camp opposed the peace agreement.

The congress is to conclude on Sept. 1, with the official launching of the party.

As part of the peace deal, signed by Santos and Londono on Nov. 24, the new party is set to have 10 seats in Congress as of congressional elections in 2018.

The peace agreement, which put an end to more than five decades of armed struggle, was approved by Congress in December in 2016.