Colombia’s coalition parties on Wednesday rejected disgraced ex-peace commisioner Carlos Restrepo’s call to oppose President Juan Manuel Santos and prevent a possible reelection of the head of state in 2014.
Simon Gaviria, president of the House of Representatives and leader of Colombia’s Liberal Party, responded, “We won’t allow the convening of a Constituency to undermine justice, and topple in one form or another president Santos.”
According to Gaviria, Restrepo’s call to form an opposition to Santos’ government and secure an eight-year reelection of former president Alvaro Uribe “who emotional instability, that he is not in touch with reality.”
The Liberal called on Restrepo to first return to Colombia and attend the trial against him for fraud and then make political comments.
German Varon, speaking for Colombia’s Radical Change Party, said “The country has a series of complex problems: the rainy season, security, mobility. Entering into a constituency makes no sense.”
Santos’s Vice-President Angelino Garzon said, “President Juan Manuel Santos is the result of the free and sovereign choice of nine million people who were not offered … not even a candy, absolutely nothing, to vote for us. Moreover, the representative that was democratically elected by the Colombian people is Juan Manuel Santos Calderon.”
Restrepo’s call to action came days after he was charged with fraud and the illegal trafficking of weapons over the staged demobilization of some 60 FARC fighters. The former peace commissioner, the government’s representative at the demobilization and one of the alleged masterminds of the fraud, fled Colombia and is currently at an unknown location.
Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, whose political power has reduced drastically after Santos took over the presidency in 2010, has defended the choice to avoid Colombian justice claiming that a political persecution of his government by that of his successor and the prosecutor general.
In a statement published on the Twitter account of Uribe ally and former presidential adviser Jose Obdulio Gaviria, the disgraced peace commissioner said that loyalists to Uribe must “admit that ‘Uribism’ was wrong electing Santos.”
Restrepo made no reference to his trial in the statement, but called on followers of the former president to prevent a possible reelection of Santos in 2014.