Former President Belisario Betancur endorsed the re-election campaign of President Juan Manuel Santos on Wednesday, becoming the final ex-president to make an endorsement of either candidate, reported national media.
Betancur is the latest in a series of politicians and ex-politicians to align themselves with the two candidates who will compete in the upcoming second round of Presidential elections, slated for 15 June, reports national newspaper El Tiempo.
After a meeting with President Santos, Betancur was quoted as saying, “I support the peace process [with the FARC in Cuba], and I wholeheartedly support Santos’ candidacy.” Betancur continued, stating “I feel obligated to say that we should not lose this opportunity [of the peace process].”
Betancur joins a block of his fellow Conservative Party members in endorsing Santos, while others, including former presidential candidate Marta Lucia Ramirez, have opted for Zuluaga creating a divide in the party.
|“I support the peace process [with the FARC in Cuba], and I wholeheartedly support Santos’ candidacy.”|
Since no presidential candidate received more than 50% of the vote in the elections held on 25 May, a runoff election is necessary to determine who will be Colombia’s next chief executive.
With Betancur’s endorsement, all living ex-presidents have officially chosen either Zuluaga or Santos. Ex-presidents Alvaro Uribe and Andres Pastrana have endorsed Oscar Ivan Zuluaga (Uribe being the founder of the party with which Zuluaga is running), while ex-presidents Cesar Gaviria and Ernesto Samper have thrown their support behind Juan Manuel Santos.