The Conservative Party leader rejected prospective presidential candidate Andres Felipe Arias’ efforts to convince Partido de la U to present a common candidate with the Conservatives for May’s elections, if President Uribe is not able to run.
Arias reportedly tried to create a coalition between two parties solidly allied with President Uribe, the Partido de la U and his own Conservative Party. But the Conservatives’ president, Fernando Araujo, said the forging of such a coalition was not in Arias’ hands.
“The one who defines alliances within the Conservative Party is the national leadership, whose spokesman is me,” said Araujo. He added that the Conservatives will not consider creating coalitions with other parties until March 14, which is when the Conservatives will select their official candidate out of five hopefuls, including Arias.
Araujo’s dismissal is a hard blow for Arias, who is currently facing a criminal investigation for corruption charges.
Arias met with President Uribe on Thursday, along with the leader of the Partido de la U, and prospective presidential candidate, Juan Manuel Santos, reportedly to discuss selecting a common candidate if Uribe is not able to run. By Colombian law, Uribe must declare his candidacy by March 12, but first he must wait for the Constitutional Court to declare whether the re-election referendum is constitutional.