BOGOTA - President of Colombia Juan Manuel Santos said Wednesday that he will present the final accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) to Colombia's Congress for consideration on Thursday and that the country will hold a plebiscite on Oct. 2 for Colombians to vote on the peace deal signed with FARC.
"Tomorrow, I will present to Congress for consideration the final accord and I will inform them that the plebiscite on the peace deal will be held on Sunday, October 2 this year," the president said.
Nearly four years of arduous and intense negotiations culminated Wednesday in Havana, Cuba, with a historic peace agreement between the Government of Colombia and the FARC.
The president said that the plebiscite is the only way he can comply with the promise he made to his countrymen that they "will have the last word" on the peace deal.
"The war is over. But there is a new beginning. This agreement opens possibilities to start the transformation of Colombian society," said the chief negotiator for the Government of Colombia, Humberto de la Calle.
The plebiscite will grant the Colombians the right to decide whether or not they will approve the agreement that would end the decades-long conflict with the FARC, the country's largest left-wing rebel group.
"After the negotiation and agreement conclusion, it is up to you Colombians to decide with your vote whether or not you will support this historic agreement that will put an end to this long conflict between the sons of the same nation," he said.
The head of state also said that the final peace agreement will also be published from Thursday on the government's official website and social media so the Colombian people can read the accord and have all information needed.
Peace negotiations, which started in 2012, ended on Tuesday in the Cuban capital Havana after three and a half years, and the definitive deal is expected to be signed in the coming days in Colombia.
Over 200,000 people, civilians and combatants, have died in the Colombian conflict since the beginning of the 1960's and over 5 million people had to flee their homes because of it.