'Yes' camp leads ahead of Colombia peace vote

Bogota (AFP) - A historic peace deal between the Colombian government and FARC rebels is poised to be ratified in a decisive referendum on October 2, according to two opinion polls published Friday.

With just over three weeks to go to the referendum, the "Yes" camp has 72 percent of the vote against 28 percent for the "No" camp, found polling firm Ipsos.

Another pollster, Datexco, found the "Yes" camp leading 64.8 percent to 28.1 percent, with 4.1 percent undecided.

The government and the Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) concluded a final peace accord on August 24 to end a 52-year war.

The conflict, which has drawn in various left- and right-wing rebel groups as well as criminal gangs over the decades, has killed 260,000 people and left 45,000 missing.

After nearly four years of peace talks, the Colombian people will have the final say when they vote on the question: "Do you support the final accord to end the conflict and build a stable and lasting peace?"

In order for the deal to be ratified, the "Yes" camp must win and also gather at least 4.4 million votes -- 13 percent of the electorate.

If the deal passes, the FARC -- the country's largest rebel group -- have pledged to disarm and convert themselves into a political party.

The Ipsos poll was carried out with 1,526 respondents, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

Datexco questioned 2,109 respondents, with a margin of error of 2.13 percent.

Its previous poll, published last week, had pointed to a tighter race: 59.5 percent to 33.2 percent in favor of a "Yes" vote.