The Americas

Colombia vice president quits amid talk of presidential run

  • Colombia's Vice President German Vargas LLeras holds a hard hat that says in Spanish "100,000 homes" as he delivers his annual report to President Juan Manuel Santos during a ceremony in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, March 14, 2017.  (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Colombia's Vice President German Vargas LLeras holds a hard hat that says in Spanish "100,000 homes" as he delivers his annual report to President Juan Manuel Santos during a ceremony in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

  • Colombia's Vice President German Vargas LLeras delivers his annual report to President Juan Manuel Santos during a ceremony in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, March, 14, 2017.  (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

    Colombia's Vice President German Vargas LLeras delivers his annual report to President Juan Manuel Santos during a ceremony in Bogota, Colombia, Tuesday, March, 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)  (The Associated Press)

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.