Colombian public rejects peace deal with FARC rebels

The Colombian public have rejected a landmark peace deal through a referendum vote that would've put an end to 52 years of conflict.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

A supporter of "Si" vote cries after the nation voted "NO" in a referendum on a peace deal between the government and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels in Bogota, Colombia on October 2, 2016

Colombian voters have rejected a peace deal with communist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) rebels on Sunday.

A complete count of referendum results unexpectedly blasted away what the government hoped would be a historic end to 52 years of conflict.

The results went down to the wire, but in the end, the public who voted 'NO' managed to gain over 50 percent of the vote.

Reversing the trend of earlier opinion polls, voters appeared to have narrowly defied the government's pleas for a new era of peace in the South American country.

Supporters of the accord had expected it to effectively end what is seen as the last major armed conflict in the Western hemisphere.

The war has killed hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions.

But Sunday evening's results pointed to a crashing defeat for President Juan Manuel Santos and the accord that he signed on September 26 with FARC.

Santos's government had said it had no Plan B if voters rejected the accord, which stipulated that the agreement must be ratified by Colombians in a referendum in order for it to come into force.