The Americas editor for The Economist, Michael Reid, stated Tuesday that Colombia does not need “an eternal strongman,” in reference to President Uribe’s re-election bid.
Reid, in an interview with W Radio, asserted that “in order for Colombia to continue advancing as it has been over the last eight years, it needs strong institutions and not an eternal strongman.”
Reid stressed his belief that should Uribe win again, it would “weaken institutions” and disrupt the balance between them. The journalist said Colombia needed “new ideas and different people to consolidate and adjust the security policy.”
Reid also pointed out that the current focus on Uribe’s re-election was putting the other presidential candidates in an awkward and insecure position.
The interview follows a leader article in the current issue of The Economist, published Wednesday, in which the newspaper argues that Uribe “should stand aside and let would-be successors campaign to lead Colombia.” Though the right-wing leader has “made his country a better and safer place” through “tireless and determined leadership,” his policies will only have lasting success if they are continued by others.
The opinion piece urges Uribe to renounce his re-election bid, stating that by doing so he may “enter history as a democrat who saved his country.”