Former Minister and Conservative pre-candidate for the Presidency,
Andres Felipe Arias, has been put on the defensive after a photo of him
chatting about “using shady strategies” to convince a lawmaker to vote
in favor of President Alvaro Uribe’s re-election became public.
Arias, present in the House of Representatives during the sessions on the referendum on allowing Uribe a third term, appeared in nearly all media Thursday to explain the message was a joke and he was not pressuring lawmakers as the message indicated.
In the photo, Arias writes Bernardo Moreno, personal secretary of Uribe, he “will have to resort to shady strategies” to convince a lawmaker to vote in favor.
The message was picked up by a large number of media who remembered the bribery of Congressmen five years ago to make them vote in favor of Uribe’s first possibility to be re-elected.
Arias, one of Uribe’s closest allies, told newspaper El Espectador he would continue seeking support for the referendum, “but now without jokes.”