Colombia vice president quits amid talk of presidential run

By The Associated Press | Posted - Mar. 16, 2017 at 8:48 a.m.

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — Colombian Vice President German Vargas Lleras has offered his resignation amid speculation he'll seek the country's top office in next year's election.

Vargas Lleras delivered a letter to Congress Wednesday night asking lawmakers to relieve him of his duties. A vote is expected next week. Sitting officials must resign by May in order to be eligible to run in the May 2018 election.

Polls show the famously hot-tempered politician is one of the front-runners to succeed President Juan Manuel Santos after having overseen the biggest infrastructure buildout in decades.

But he's mistrusted by many of Santos' supporters and being courted by some right-wing opponents because of his lukewarm support for a peace deal with leftist rebels.

Santos has already tapped former police chief Oscar Naranjo to replace Vargas Lleras.

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