Colombia’s leading socialist candidate for the 2014 presidential elections, Clara Lopez, has come close to threatening the possible reelection run of President Juan Manuel Santos, a poll released Wednesday revealed.
According to the Datexco poll carried out for newspaper El Tiempo and radio station W, Former Bogota interim mayor Lopez is only 5.8 percentage points behind Santos if facing the former Bogota mayor, his cousin Francisco Santos and former governor Antonio Navarro.
In that scenario, the current president would get 24.6% of the votes and Lopez would receive 18.8%. Francisco Santos of the Dentro Democratico party of former President Alvaro Uribe would get 12.2% of votes and former Nariño governor Antonio Navarro 8.9%.
If fellow-former Bogota mayor Enrique Peñalosa decides to join the race instead of Francisco Santos, Lopez would even tie with the president, said Datexco.
If that happens, both Lopez and Santos would receive 22% of the votes, followed by Navarro with 13% and Peñalosa with 10%.
Lopez, a Harvard graduate, became Bogota’s mayor after the 2011 suspension of Samuel Moreno, who was subsequently arrested over major corruption allegations.
The interim mayor received higher approval ratings than any of her elected colleagues had since the 1990s.
Santos is facing an almost abysmal approval rating after massive agricultural protests that revealed an economic crisis in Colombia’s countryside. The late and violent government response to the protests spurred the president’s approval rating to plummet to 25%.
Colombia’s electoral authorities have set the first round of the presidential elections on May 25.