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  • FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño, better known by his nom de guerre

    FARC rebel leader Rodrigo Londoño, better known by his nom de guerre "Timochenko," and leaders sing the national anthem during a ceremony. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 October 2017

After 53 years of armed struggle, the FARC has registered as an official political party to fight the Colombian government at the ballot box.

Leaders of Colombia's Revolutionary Alternative Forces of the Commons, or FARC, have announced that they have officially registered with the National Electoral Council, CNE, as a legal political party that will be able to participate in elections.

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"We are born today as a legal party, we register before the National Electoral Council our platform and statutes, we are going to defend Colombia," the FARC said via Twitter.

Jairo Estrada, a member of the pro-reconciliation organization Voices For Peace, said in a statement that all relevant legal documents have been delivered.

In addition to the certification of arms abandonment and legal statutes, the ideological platform and the code of ethics of the FARC's political organization were presented to the CNE.

The FARC also announced that it is working on presenting a list of candidates to the Senate and the House of Representatives.

Estrada continued to say that they are "studying the electoral strategy" for next year's presidential and legislative elections.

The FARC will nominate five senators and five other members for the House of Representatives who will support civic candidacies in the departments, according to Ivan Marquez, the former second-in-command of the FARC’s guerrilla movement.

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Marquez urged his "brothers who fight under the iris of all political flags" to "jointly seek the paths of unity."

He also stressed that the FARC's objective will be "overcoming the old and unjust social order."

During the press conference, Marquez concluded by inviting "all armed sectors that are illegal" to join what he described as a "peace effort" and achieve an understanding with the national government.

On Sept. 1, the FARC dissolved as a guerrilla group and transitioned into a political party after 53 years of armed struggle.

Estrada urged observers to not rule out the FARC as a contender for the presidency and added that a coalition has not yet been explored as the Congress is still considering the legitimacy of the FARC as an electoral political party.

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