Former Colombian presidential candidate, Clara Lopez, accused fellow partisan and Senator Jorge Enrique Robledo of “political bullying” and “persecution” in an interview with Colombia’s Blu Radio on Tuesday.
First-round presidential candidate for the Alternative Democratic Pole (Polo Democratico Alternativo — PDA) and key figure in Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos‘ reelection campaign, Clara Lopez, claimed that prominent Senator Jorge Enrique Robledo had perpetrated acts of political bullying and persecution over her support of Santos.
“I campaigned for peace and for the reelection of President Juan Manuel Santos without attacking anybody in my party, but now I am amazed that Robledo is challenging me to a [political] fight,” said Lopez, adding, “[Robledo] put up signs and deployed an impressive campaign against me.”
Lopez also criticized Robledo’s attacks on her endorsement of Santos, rather than promoting the blank vote, which is a legal vote marked like a candidate, that acts as a protest vote.
Robledo, a strong first round supporter of Lopez, was disillusioned with her endorsement of Santos, as well as her appearance in a commercial supporting the candidacy of the incumbent President. Robledo encouraged supporters of the PDA to either abstain, or “vote blank.”
Although many on the left openly endorsed Santos because of his commitment to the peace process, some left-wingers, including Senator Robledo, criticized Lopez’s decision to support Santos.
Lopez was criticized by Robledo for her endorsement of Santos through a commercial in which she appears not only endorsing the peace process, but also encouraging a “more human” healthcare system, better employment, putting social policies first, rural development, better education for students.
Robledo claimed that the votes for Lopez were meant for changing various Colombian institutions, including the economic model, the free trade agreements, the protection of domestic agriculture and industry, and a general opposition to what the other candidates were proposing.
Despite Robledo’s support for the peace process, he claims that nobody during the first round of campaigning believed that this was ground to endorse Santos.