Monday, June 22, 1998 Published at 03:43 GMT 04:43 UK
Pastrana takes Colombian presidency
Pastrana gives a victory salute
The opposition Conservative candidate, Andres Pastrana, has been declared the winner of Colombia's presidential election.
The result ends 12 years of Liberal Party presidents in the country.
He has pledged to hold face-to-face meetings with rebel leaders as early as next week to try to end more than four decades of armed conflict in Colombia.
Mr Pastrana, who is supported by many business people, won just over 50% of the vote. He was around five points ahead of Mr Serpa, who was the choice of outgoing President Ernesto Samper.
Our correspondent says the Liberals were harmed by allegations of links with drugs barons.
It took less than three hours to count over 95% of all votes, although in areas affected by guerrilla violence, the final result will not be known for several days.
Our correspondent said the uncounted votes would not significantly affect the result.
Voting was cancelled in 59 towns after guerrilla attacks.
Turnout was the highest for a presidential election in years, despite some voters staying at home to watch live World Cup football coverage.
He lost to Mr Samper four years ago, and shortly afterwards revealed details that his rival's supporters had accepted campaign donations from drug barons.
The loser of Sunday's election, the governing Liberal Party, found it hard to shake off allegations that it is still in the pockets of the drug lords.
That ultimately led to their candidate's defeat.
He handled his feelings very differently to four years ago when he cried openly after losing at the first attempt.
This time Mr Pastrana told his supporters that the country had voted for change - the single word slogan he used throughout the six month election campaign.
The slogan, and Mr Pastrana's policies, have been criticised as hollow by Liberal Party rivals.
They say they are now keen to see whether he honours his promise to launch peace negotiations with left-wing guerrilla groups.
He has also promised to include more women in his cabinet - that is being interpreted as an olive branch to the independent candidate, Noemi Sanin, who gained unexpectedly large support in the first round of the elections.
Shadow of violence
Mr Serpa claimed he was the only one with the experience to handle both the military and its rebel adversaries.
In recent weeks, the country's armed forces have been a powerful voice in criticising the outgoing government.
The rebels had said they would disrupt the election. Our correspondent reported that in areas away from the capital, they set buses alight and threatened to shoot dead anyone trying to cast their vote.
Before the polls opened Colombian police uncovered a massive stash of arms. It is thought they were on their way to left-wing guerrilla forces.
Around 250,000 soldiers and police officers were stationed across the country to provide security for voters.