Colombia’s current governing coalition won the congressional elections on Sunday, opening the door for a Conservative or “Uribista” candidate to become the new President of the Republic with majority support in both House of Representatives and Senate.
With more than three quarters of the votes counted, Juan Manuel Santos‘ Partido de la U, in Congress the most loyal to President Alvaro Uribe, was in the lead, with almost 25% of all votes for the Senate. In the 2006 elections, the party had 17.49% of the votes.
The Uribista’s are closely followed by the Conservative Party — also in the coalition — that received more than 22% of the votes, 7% more than 4 years ago.
It’s still too early to tell who won the Conservative Party primary. Controversial candidate Andres Felipe Arias leads the count, but with a minor advantage over his competitor Noemi Sanin.
With these results, the two parties will have enough seats in Congress to form a majority coalition.
Most remarkable is the new Party for National Integration (PIN), which received almost 8% of the votes. The party is highly controversial because of its alleged links to “dirty” and jailed politicians. It is the fourth biggest party in Colombia.
The Liberal Party received 16.5% of the votes, a 1% gain on four years ago.
Presidential candidate German Vargas Lleras’ Cambio Radical party was these elections biggest loser. In 2006 the party received 13.36% of the votes; this year the center right party received less than 8%.
Socialist party Polo Democratico received little more than 7% of the votes, a loss of nearly 3%, compared to the last elections.
Congress candidates alligned with former Medellin mayor and presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo received less than 2% of the votes, leaving the second most popular presidential candidate with only one seat in the Senate and little option of forming a coalition.