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Colombia vote seen as gauge on talks

Voters checked a list to confirm where they should cast their ballots for legislative elections in Bogota Sunday.

Fernando Vergara/Associated Press

Voters checked a list to confirm where they should cast their ballots for legislative elections in Bogota Sunday.

BOGOTA — Colombians went to the polls Sunday to elect a new Congress in a vote that will gauge support for President Juan Manuel Santos’s attempts to secure a peace deal with Marxist guerrillas.

Voters were choosing all 102 senators and 166 lower house representatives. The election pitted Santos’s allies against those of former president Alvaro Uribe, whose Democratic Center Party opposes the negotiations with the rebels.

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‘‘These elections aren’t typical because, apart from peace, there hasn’t been any other issue of great relevance,’’ Alejo Vargas, professor of political science at the National University, said in a phone interview.

The government has been holding peace talks in Cuba since 2012 with guerrillas from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, in a bid to end a civil conflict that began half a century ago.

Uribe and his supporters oppose any deal that would give FARC leaders immunity for crimes or that would allow them to hold seats in Congress. Uribe, who supported Santos’s candidacy in 2010, now attacks him repeatedly on Twitter and in interviews.

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