The Revolutionary Alternative Force of the Commons has announced Rodrigo Londoño, popularly known as Timochenko and former leader of the guerrilla group, as their candidate in the 2018 Colombian presidential election as the group awaits the legalization of its newly established political party by Colombia's National Electoral Council, according to Caracol Radio.
Until this process is complete, the FARC will be unable to advance with the formal registration of their presidential candidate and congress people.
The decision to nominate Timochenko was made in a majority vote by FARC members, despite their belief that his chances of reaching the presidential palace are minimal.
However, they expressed their desire to have a candidate run in next year's presidential election, forming political coalitions in the process that would eventually run a candidate with greater chances of winning in future campaigns. FARC members noted that this would entail a transitional government aimed at consolidating peace throughout the country.
FARC representatives also stated that in the coming days they will officially announce Pablo Catatumbo, Ivan Marquez and other members who will run for congressional seats, according to Caracol Radio.
With Timochenko at its head, the FARC faces many obstacles as it attempts to transform from a guerrilla group into a political party, with members pointing to the lack of will shown by the administration of Juan Manuel Santos to carry out true peace as social leaders and FARC members continue to be targeted by paramilitary forces and the Colombian military.
However, the former guerrilla leader said he would uphold his commitment to peace and signaled he would work closely with the two commissions set up in order to re-structure the party.
“Just like all of you, what motivates me is that the (peace) process moves forward,” he reiterated.