A meeting of Conservative Party Congress members unanimously decided to offer their support to Partido de la U candidate Juan Manuel Santos in the second round of presidential elections, reports Semana.
“The people expressed themselves at the polls, and we cannot contradict the will of the people,” said Conservative representative Oscar Arboleda.
The decision was led by Andres Felipe Arias, who had previously expressed his support for Santos for the presidency, rather than for Noemi Sanin, who defeated Arias’ bid to be the Conservative Party’s presidential candidate.
Conservative Party chairman Fernando Araujo was appointed chief emissary to seal the deal with the Partido de la U, and said that he would meet with Santos to define a framework for the agreement.
Noemi Sanin said that details of any agreement should be worked out first. “When the country knows what Mockus’ or Santos’ proposals are, then we can talk about support. Before [this], without advancing talks, nobody can speak of support,” she said.
Sanin also expressed her displeasure that members of her party had supported Santos from the beginning of the campaign.
Following meetings with Conservative Party officials, Juan Manuel Santos said that any alliance with other political parties would be based on “common objectives and programs.”
“This great union of the Partido de la U, the Conservative Party and the Liberal Party will give us a great opportunity for Colombians to move forward,” Santos said.
On Tuesday, Liberal Party leader, Raphael Pardo said his party would not seek a union with the Partido de la U because he did not know what Santos meant by his proposal of a “government of national unity.”
Sanin and Arias traded public insults earlier Tuesday, with Sanin telling Arias to “Be a man” and accusing him of being a sore loser.
Arias responded by saying that “insulting and groping people is not a way to conduct politics,” adding that he “feels like a winner” and “invites the Conservatives to put an end to the internal divisions.”