Colombians would vote in favor of peace in plebiscite - poll

Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos gestures during an interview with Reuters at the Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia September 5, 2016. Picture taken September 5, 2016. To match Interview COLOMBIA-SANTOS/INTERVIEW REUTERS/John Vizcaino

BOGOTA (Reuters) - Colombian voters will back a peace deal with Marxist FARC rebels in a plebiscite, according to an opinion poll released on Friday, in encouraging news for President Juan Manuel Santos, who wants the electorate to ratify the measure to end more than 50 years of war.

The government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) agreed on Aug. 24 to terminate a five-decade war that has killed more than 220,000 people and displaced millions. Colombians will decide during a plebiscite on Oct. 2 whether they approve the accord.

The survey, conducted by polling firm Ipsos on behalf of local media Semana magazine and RCN radio and television, showed 72 percent of those voting would approve the deal, while 28 percent would vote against it.

To make the vote’s result binding, the winning side would need a majority of ballots cast and support totaling at least 13 percent of the country’s 33 million eligible voters.

Colombia’s principal opposition party, headed by hard-line former President Alvaro Uribe, has said it will campaign for a ‘no’ vote.

Reporting by Helen Murphy Editing by W Simon