Colombia's president to address nation amid re-election talk

BOGOTA Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:06pm EST

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos gives a speech during a ceremony to mark the 94th anniversary of the Colombian Air Force at a military base in Bogota November 8, 2013. REUTERS/John Vizcaino

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos gives a speech during a ceremony to mark the 94th anniversary of the Colombian Air Force at a military base in Bogota November 8, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/John Vizcaino

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BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos is scheduled to address the nation on Wednesday night amid speculation he will reveal plans to run for re-election next year in hope of finalizing peace talks with Marxist FARC rebels.

The center-right president will make a national address at 7 p.m. (0000 GMT).

While not confirmed that he would discuss next year's election, Santos has said he will reveal his plans by November 25.

A lawmaker from the ruling coalition told Reuters he believed Santos was about to announce he would run for a second four-year term in May. Local media also speculated that.

The 62-year-old, Harvard-educated journalist and son of one of the nation's most influential families would take on opposition candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga in a campaign likely to focus on how peace could transform Colombian society.

Santos, who took office in 2010 with 74 percent approval, saw his ratings dip to a record low in recent months before rising as the year-old talks in Cuba with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia showed signs of progress.

(Reporting by Helen Murphy and Carlos Vargas; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne and Jim Loney)

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