After securing over 2,000,000 votes in Colombia’s congressional election, former president Alvaro Uribe stressed the work for his newly found party is only beginning.
“Thank you to all Colombians who did their work today,” said the senator-elect at a press conference filled with reporters and his supporters.
Earlier Sunday evening, Uribe made history when he became the first senator to ever have formerly been president, no less with a political group that began gaining traction less than a year ago.
The CD, which ended the night securing 20 seats in the Senate with just under 15% of the vote, and 12 seats in the House with just under 10% of the vote, essentially ran all of its candidates on the name of Uribe, which ultimately proved successful.
Though President Juan Manuel Santos’ U Party (Partido de la U) still remains the majority political group in the Senate by one seat, the once incumbent-ally Uribe’s large win tonight demonstrates that he maintains massive support in Colombia.
In his thank you speech — which was short and used to promote CD’s presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga — the former president mentioned that he hoped for a “safe country” especially when “confronting terrorism.” He emphasized that Colombia must be “fraternal in international relations, but never weak against tyranny.” Uribe also mentioned that he would fight against communism — by saying “Castro-Chavez-ism,” in his new role alongside Colombians.
“The work of the Democratic Center has just begun!” proclaimed the senator-elect to much applause
He concluding his stump speech by introducing Zuluaga as the man who will “orient us” in the future.
Zuluaga, who dropped his script before taking the microphone, asserted correctly that “the Democratic Center is a new political force in Colombia,” and that “tonight represented an election of commitment and love.”
The presidential hopeful has been trailing the incumbent Santos by a wide margin in nearly every poll since it was made known he would run, and tonight’s speech demonstrated that, like Sunday’s election strategy, the Democratic Center will only continue to try to tie Uribe’s image to Zuluaga.
Some Colombian media outlets have already spoken out naming CD’s presidential candidate one of the biggest winners of Sunday’s election — due to the positive exposure to Uribe, and the success for the Uribista movement so close to the presidential elections in May.
“Viva Alvaro Uribe Velez! Viva el Centro Democratico! Viva Colombia!” shouted Zuluaga at the end of his speech.