Christians welcome Colombian presidential victory for Santos

The new President of Colombia, Dr Juan Manual Santos was overwhelmingly elected with strong support from one of the world’s fastest growing churches.

On Sunday, the former defence minister won 69 per cent of the vote defeating Mockus in the Presidential run off.

The vote is a declaration of support for the policies of former President Alvaro Uribe, who has led Colombia into a new era of security and prosperity since 2002.

Santos, who only started his campaign in March following the Supreme Court’s decision to deny Uribe a third term, was behind the rescue operation which liberated Ingrid Betancourt and fourteen other hostages in July 2008.

During his campaign Santos attended campaign meetings hosted by Misión Carismática Internacional (MCI), with more than 200,000 members.

In March, leaders from the church were elected to the Senate, Congress and Andean Parliament for the ‘U’ party, led by Santos. Three other leaders are members of the 45-seat Council of Bogota.

In January, he had attended the annual conference of MCI.

Pastor Wes Richards, from King’s Church International in Windsor welcomed him on behalf of international pastors. He said, "You helped to give this nation hope in dark moments of despair and when you have faced entrenched evil.

"We are all very grateful for the contribution you have made to the security of this nation."

Founder of MCI, Pastor Cesar Castellanos said, "Dr Santos, you have been loyal. When someone is waiting with patience God rewards them greatly.

"God bless you. I believe this is the Kairos (timing) of God for your life.

"God's hand was on your life throughout the time you were a Minister of Defense, directing you in Operation Checkmate. The hand of God has supported everything you’ve done and will continue to support you.

"Thank you for not anticipating events, thank you for waiting, because in His time you will receive the reward. May God bless you."

Santos said: "I have great optimism about what is going to be Colombia's future."

On Sunday he received more than 9 million votes - a record for a Colombian president - and will take office in August.

"Colombia expects so much from us and we are not going to let them down," Santos, 58, told cheering crowds.

"This is your victory too, President Uribe."