The “Colombia coalition” of anti-corruption candidates may break with former Medellin Mayor Sergio Fajardo after he formalized his presidential bid.
The popular dynasty politician’s ally, Senator Claudia Lopez, said she was “sad” that Fajardo had failed to agree to a mechanism to elect a candidate from the coalition of presidential hopefuls.
Both have teamed up with leftist Senator Jorge Robledo to jointly promote anti-corruption measures and the execution of a peace process agreed with former FARC guerrillas last year.
Sergio did not accept to take part in a primary in March so that citizens with their vote would choose only one candidate. He did not agree to a joint program. I am very sad.
Fajardo has been polled the most popular of the candidates. The three had been talking about how to come to a single candidate ahead of the first round of presidential elections in May.
The experienced politician from Medellin did not rule out breaking with Lopez, claiming it was “very serious” she involved the public in their disagreement about the candidacy.
Something very serious happened here.
A breaking of the coalition would likely mean the end of the presidential ambitions of Robledo and Lopez, and endanger the joint support they have generated.
Fajardo claimed the controversy kept him from promoting common views on policy.
Colombia is deeply outraged by corruption. Every day the country is more polarized. That polarization for me is ominous. Polarization means that society is divided between friends and enemies, the relationship between friends is affectionate but with enemies it is permanent aggression, anger, hatred. This is escalating. When that escalates, the damage to the country increases. We must carefully study the roots in the history of Colombia, because the verbal aggression escalates to physical aggression in a matter of minutes. We must end this polarization. It is not a good scenario for Colombia at a time when we need to recover confidence and hope.
Fajardo said there were talks after which he would decide whether to attend the next coalition meeting on Wednesday.