Supporters of Colombia’s opposition Sunday elected Rafael Pardo (Liberal Party) and Gustavo Petro (Polo Democratico) as their candidates for the 2010 presidential elections. The turnout was low as neither of the candidates seem to make much of a chance in May.
1.5 million of 29 million registered voters took the effort to determine who would lead Colombia’s two most important opposition parties.
After 95 percent of the votes was counted, the National Registry announced that Rafael Pardo had received the support of 367 thousand voters, beating Liberal competitors Anibal Gaviria and Alfonso Gomez Mendez and that Petro had won the primaries of the social democrats with 217 thousand votes over party president Carlos Gaviria.
The governing coalition, supporting President Alvaro Uribe, saw the low turnout as an indication of how the policies of the administration were approved of by the Colombian people.
“The opposition doesn’t exist. What happened Sunday was that it made the way for those who support the President and the referendum to help him ahead towards the election next year,” Senator Armando Benedetti, one of the president’s most vociferous supporters in Congress told newspaper El Espectador.
Both winning opposition candidates called for unity within the opposition to be able to make a chance in the May presidential election.