Former Polo Democratico President Carlos Gaviria has said that he will not accompany newly-elected party presidential candidate Gustavo Petro on his presidential campaign.
After a meeting Tuesday with Petro at Polo Democratico headquarters in Bogota., Gaviria said that he would remain a party member, “but the support of Dr. Petro’s leadership will fall to others.”
Daily El Espectador reported him as saying that “between us are issues vital to the party [as well as] personal issues. … I’m too old to continue [with this].”
Gaviria made his resignation as party president clear following his defeat at Sunday’s presidential candidate elections.
“I irrevocably resign as president of the Polo and at the moment there is a new situation: I would be [party] president and losing candidate. This should be analyzed by the Party’s Executive Committee,” he said.
Commenting on the possible inter-party consultation of various political forces, Gaviria said that “we should not let a fear of Uribe spoil such a beautiful project in the search for a democratic society. Under the blackmail of the re-election we can not lose all of these efforts.”
For his part, Polo Democratico presidential candidate Gustavo Petro accepted Gaviria’s decision.
“He wants to restore his personal life while being a member of the Polo and that is understandable. It is clear that leftists sometimes forget individuals … I do not mind Gaviria’s position because everyone gives according to their abilities,” he said.
However, newspaper El Tiempo reported that Petro said that Gaviria should step aside and think about retiring from active proselytizing, while scheduling the meeting to recognize Gaviria’s contribution to the party.
Regarding Gaviria’s decision not to accompany the presidential campaign while remaining a party member, Petro said, “there are millions of citizens who only accompany [my campaign] at the moment of introducing their vote in the ballot box, which is vital, because if they didn’t do it we wouldn’t win.”
He also said that he would accept presidency of the Polo Democratico, since “at this time it is important that whoever won the election is the president of the community.”