jueves, 24 de octubre de 2013
Former Colombian leader's party seeks decisive position in 2014
The party founded by Colombia's arch-conservative former president Álvaro Uribe Vélez was to elect a presidential candidate on 25-26 October and set a strategy for the presidential and parliamentary elections of 2014, which it hoped would make it a decisive - or the decisive - political force that year. Media reported that the Uribe Democratic Centre (Uribe Centro Democrático) would seek four million votes in coming elections hoping to bank on voters' nostalgia for the enhanced security they enjoyed when Mr Uribe was President in 2002-10. Many votes were expected to be snatched from Unity or U Party and Conservatives currently supporting President Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, Cali's El País reported on 23 October. Mr Uribe's actual election support was for now speculative in spite of projected figures set out in El País, but Mr Uribe has an undoubted public support that has likely irked President Santos and divided the U Party, said to harbour an unspecified number of Mr Uribe's admirers. Colombians who took part in a survey in June 2013 voted him as Colombia's most admired personality of recent years. Supporters of President Santos sought on 23 October to downplay Mr Uribe's prospects. The Speaker of the lower legislative chamber Juan Fernando Cristo Bustos qualified the Democratic Centre's bid to take more than 860,000 votes from U and 300,000 from the Conservatives as a "harmless dream," observing that Mr Uribe would more likely become an "important" opposition senator during the President's "possible second term," El País reported. "Without doubt" he said, "Liberalism would be the country's greater political force." The Conservative Senator Arturo Yepes Alzate said in turn that votes were not to be counted like "cattle, not anymore." Those attending the Democratic Centre's convention on 25-26 October were to elect one of three pre-candidates as the party's presidential candidate, namely the former minister Óscar Iván Zuluaga Escobar, diplomat Carlos Holmes Trujillo and the former vice-president and cousin of President Santos, Francisco Santos Calderón.