Former President Alvaro Uribe on Sunday claimed that massive fraud helped Colombia’s incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos win the second round of elections in which he was challenged by Uribe-loyalist Oscar Ivan Zuluaga.
|Colombia’s 2014 elections|
Uribe began his speech thanking and congratulating his candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, his family and his running mate Carlos Holmes Trujillo.
The former president also thanked first round presidential candidate Marta Lucia Ramirez and her supporters for their votes and backing of the Democratic Center candidate.
Uribe went on to criticize the reelected Santos’ administration which he claims to have promoted the “most corrupt campaign in history characterized by abuse of power, bribery of congressmen, offering public money to regional leaders for illegal support of the president, vote buying.”
The former head of state who had endorsed his successor in 2010 also claimed that Santos used illegal propaganda, and that the threat of massacres and intimidation by terrorist groups such as the FARC and neo-paramilitary groups directed towards Zuluaga voters.
Uribe claimed Santos was silent on these issues, only to benefit his campaign. The former president praised his Democratic Center party, and confirmed its commitment to fulfilling the legislative agenda, also calling for a change in the electoral system that will guarantee transparency and to avoid abuses committed by the Santos administration.
Zuluaga himself had used a more reconciliatory rhetoric in his speech admitting electoral defeat.
Uribe’s party was formed last year after the former president felt increasingly pushed away from the power base that had delivered his 2002 presidency. Santos’ increased preference for the Liberal Party party power base and initiation of peace talks with extreme leftist rebel group FARC at least temporarily ruptured the bond between the two former allies.
In congressional elections in March, Senator led his newly formed and explicitly right-wing party to an election victory that delivered them 15 percent in Senate votes and 10% in the House.
The former President promised his electorate to “rise up against the politics of fear that has pretended by make vote buying nationally and institutionally normal,” continuing stating, “we will be faithful to our convictions of our country, and not the victory of a cheater.”