Uribe ‘orders governor to support Arias for president’

An ex-congressman and the father of the governor of Colombia’s Valle de Cauca department claimed Wednesday his son was told by President Alvaro Uribe to garner support for Andres Felipe Arias’ presidential campaign in the south-west Colombian department, reports W Radio.

According to reports, Carlos Herney Abadia, himself a former congressman, claimed in an interview that his son was supporting the Conservative party pre-candidate Arias on “the president’s orders.”

“He [Juan Carlos] is following instructions from Uribe … He [Uribe] knows where this is headed but he needs our support,” Carlos Abadia Sr explained.

The Colombian president denied Carlos Abadia Sr’s claims, saying that he had only ever highlighted the good work carried out by Arias, who was until last year the Minister of Agriculture, reported El Espectador.

“Every time that I have been asked about ex-Minister Arias I have said that he is very well qualified and upright,” said Uribe.

The Colombian president praised the achievements of Arias, who has been dubbed “Uribito” or “Little Uribe” by the media, saying that he had passed “Colombia’s most important agricultural law” in the last 50 years and that he is “a useful young leader for the country who cannot be wasted.”

Uribe emphasized, however, that this was all he the support he had given for the candidate, either publicly or privately.

Arias is a pre-presidential candidate and is yet to officially announce his candidacy for Colombia’s presidential elections in May.

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