Controversial Venezuelan spin-doctor J.J. Rendon announced that he now has a Colombian work visa and has signed a contract as a campaign strategist for Partido de la U presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos.
Rendon made the announcement during a radio interview, in which he also said he plays clean and feels that he is the victim of persecution. The campaign strategist denied he is conducting a “dirty war” to discredit Santos’ opponents.
Rendon said he believes that Santos will win Sunday’s presidential election outright in the first round on May 30. However, the Venezuelan’s work visa is valid until June 22, giving him time to mastermind campaigning for a potential second round runoff scheduled for June 20.
RCN Radio says that Rendon’s “donation” of an advertisement to Santos’ campaign, before he became an official Partido de la U employee, may constitute a breach of Colombian law.
Legislative Act 01, 2009 states that “parties and political movements and significant citizen groups are prohibited from receiving electoral campaign financing … from foreigners.”
Venezuelan Rendon’s advertisement was previously used in the campaign elections of both Honduran President Porfirio Lobo and Mexican governor Jesus Alberto Aguilar.
Rendon has been a figure of controversy ever since he took up the reins of Santos’ campaign, following a strategy revamp. Santos’ subsequent “dirty” online campaign tactics have been attributed to Rendon’s influence.
Partido de la U denied accusations that the infamous publicist was working illegally for the party, claiming that Rendon will only receive a paycheck if he achieves the desired outcome of helping Santos win the presidency.
As of midnight last Sunday, candidates for the 2010-2014 presidency were required by law to stop canvassing. The latest polls are too close to predict who will win the most contested elections in the country’s modern history.
Colombians will go to the polls on Sunday May 30 to elect their next president.
In the event that no candidate wins the presidential elections outright with 50% plus one of the vote, the two most popular candidates will go head to head in a second round election. In a second round, the candidate who receives the most votes will win the presidency.