Archivo de ‘Politics’

Zuluaga speaks up in defense of Arias

Miércoles, julio 16th, 2014

Former presidential candidate for the Centro Democrático party, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, spoke publicly in defense of recently convicted former Minister of Agriculture, Andres Felipe Arias.

“The situation Andrés Felipe has had to face really hurts me because he never stole a single cent,” Zuluaga said, adding that he doesn’t know where Arias is and that he hasn’t heard from him in several weeks.

Zuluaga believes that, along with the case of former DAS director, Maria del Pilar Hurtado, the Arias case has been highly politicized. “It’s odd how a Court ruling is leaked two days before the runoff presidential election,” he said.

Zuluaga wins first round

Lunes, mayo 26th, 2014

What the polls predicted became a reality yesterday as Colombians cast their votes for President of Colombia, making Oscar Ivan Zuluaga the frontrunner  with just a slight advantage over the incumbent, Juan Manuel Santos. As a result, both men will run against each other in a second round.

Yesterday’s presidential election ran smoothly without mayor incidents reportes, but 60 percent of Colombians abstained’ analysts believe many eligible voters refused to participate in the election because of several events that brought campaigns’ transparency into question.

In his first statement after results were revealed, Mr. Zuluaga said that results show “ we have a new opportunity. We will prove that we can have a different Colombia.” Mr. Santos, meanwhile, encouraged his rival to develop a campaign based on proposals, and insisted that his focus is achieving peace.

The difference between the two candidates was just 461,607 votes. “Zuluaga’s victory is more an emotional blow than a political one to Santos,” said political analyst Diego Corrales.

Candidates Marta Lucia Ramirez and Clara Lopez each racked up nearly two million votes, followed by former Mayor of Bogotá, Enrique Peñalosa in fifth place.

President says there is no hurry to name new Bogotá Mayor

Miércoles, abril 16th, 2014

The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, said there’s no rush to appoint a replacement for dismissed Mayor of Bogotá, Gustavo Petro. “We will evaluate the results of each interview and make the decision that’s best for Bogotá, so I think we have to have patience and wait, there is no rush, we are not in a hurry to make that decision (…),” Mr. Santos said.

He will not select a new mayor, he explained, until he meets with Antonio Navarro, the third candidate. The President has until Wednesday to announce a replacement for Petro.

OAS will observe Colombia’s presidential elections

Sábado, marzo 15th, 2014

The Organization of American States (OAS) announced that it will send a group of observers to Colombia’s presidential elections on May 25th, and chose former Costa Rican president, Jose Maria Figueres Olsen, to lead the group.

The announcement came in response to an invitation extended by the Colombian government for the OAS to “accompany” this process.

Figueres was the president of Costa Rica between 1994 and 1998 and is currently the co-director of the Global Ocean Commission, created in 2013 to fight oceanic degradation.

The committee plans to observe, among other aspects, the elections’ organization, use of technology and campaign financing and will later prepare a report for the OAS Permanent Council.

Last Sunday, the OAS observed congressional elections in Colombia and advised authorities to look into the cause of abstention, which was extremely high (56%).

“Colombia needs to study whether the incentives to vote (…) have been effective enough” and suggested options like shutting down businesses and making transportation free on election day.

Polo warns of possible irregularities in elections

Miércoles, marzo 12th, 2014

One of Antioquia’s candidates to the House of Representatives, Rodrigo Saldarriaga Sanín, said today that the party Polo Democrático Alternativo has doubts about how votes have been counted after Sunday’s elections in at least seven of Antioquia’s municipalities. He expressed concern over the seat he earned in said elections, and fears it may be in jeopardy due to alleged irregularities promoted, according to his claims, by the U Party.

Saldarriaga explained that he was made aware of possible foul play and the absence of witnesses at polling places by members of the Liberal, Conservative and Centro Democrático parties. He said his party is not really concerned about the exact number of votes, but more with the results in general and the possibility of them being altered. The case has already been brought to the attention of the party’s directors in Bogotá and a formal complaint had been filed with the National Registrar.

Antioquia gains seven Senate seats

Lunes, marzo 10th, 2014

After yesterday’s congressional elections, Antioquia and Atlántico are the departments with the most representatives in Colombia’s new Senate. Antioquia went from six in the 2010-2014 term to 13 for the upcoming term, thanks primarily to Centro Democrático, from which five representatives were elected on Sunday.

Atlántico went from eight senators to 12, five of them from the U Party.

Bogotá follows as the region with the most elected candidates with a total of 11 senators, most of them from Centro Democrático. Valle earned nine Senate seats, the majority of them from the U Party, but this was a loss for the department, as it had 12 in the previous term.

Metro will be free on Sunday

Martes, marzo 4th, 2014

On Sunday, March 9th Medellín’s Metro service will be free of cost for all passengers between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. in an effort to facilitate transportations for voters. The measure will apply to all trains and bus lines 1 and 2 as well as feeder routes 3 and 6, and Metrocable.

Aside from providing assistance to witnesses and people working at polling places, the company also explained that it’s trying to “encourage democratic participation” on Sunday when the time comes to elect a new Congress.

Camilo Gómez is Ramirez’ running mate

Jueves, febrero 20th, 2014

Marta Lucía Ramirez officially registered her candidacy to the Presidency of Colombia for the Conservative Party and revealed that her running mate is former Peace Commissioner, Camilo Gomez, a man with close ties to former Colombian President Andrés Pastrana who played an important role in the Government’s attempt at peace talks with Farc in el Caguán.

This move assures voters that Ramirez’ campaign will make peace a priority. Elections are scheduled for May of this year.

Francisco Santos will return to Centro Democrático

Jueves, febrero 6th, 2014

The former Vice President of Colombia, Francisco Santos, met with directors of Centro Democrático in northern Bogotá to finalize details for his return to the political group. “Here stands your soldier to fight the battle. I have been and always will be your most loyal soldier. To return dignity to Colombia,” Mr. Santos said during a speech.

The Vice President announced he will return to the party and the campaign of former president Alvaro Uribe, adding that he and Mr. Uribe “are a team that nobody can tear apart, we are a team that only wants to serve Colombia. For eight years we rescued Colombia (…)”.

Mr. Uribe was thrilled with the news of Mr. Santos’ return to Centro Democrático. “I am very fond of Francisco Santos, we need him,” he said.

Ramírez will seek support from other parties

Lunes, enero 27th, 2014

Presidential candidate for the Conservative Party, Marta Lucia Ramirez, said she’s willing to seek partnerships with other political forces in hopes of securing a spot in the second round of elections, and said she would specifically love to have the ‘uribismo’s’ support.

“I will look for support from all forces, I would love to have ‘uribismo’s’ support, I would love to be backed by people like Enrique Peñalosa, a pre-candidate for the Green Alliance, and many others who would offer us the chance to win in the second round, that’s what we will work for.”

Ms. Ramirez was offended by those who suggested she is former president Alvaro Uribe’s ‘Trojan horse’. “I am grateful to him for his leadership at the time but I am not dependent on him nor am I his messenger,” she insisted.

Ramirez also explained that the Conservative Party must be coherent and will hence distance itself from the National Unity before the elections.

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