The National Electoral Council nullified the Conservative Party’s
decision to cancel the election of a Presidential candidate at the
upcoming party meeting on 27 September.
However, reports daily El Tiempo, the party will not be forced to choose a candidate that same day. Rather, they will have three working days to decide who to elect. The party will not nominate a presidential candidate for the 2010 elections, but rather support the referendum needed to
re-elect President Alvaro Uribe.
The Party claims that the Electoral Council has not yet invited it to explain whythe decision was made to postpone the vote.
Party chairman Senator Efrain Cepeda said, “Right now we have absolutely no official information from the Council other than public information about the Board’s
decision to suspend our decision to postpone the election. However, we can appeal.” But in any case, the Conservatives “believe that this decision was autonomous and favors the right.”
The three days that the Conservatives have to respond to this ruling will begin the day after their official notification. If notified today, the response will have to be made by Tuesday. That same day, the Conservative National Directorate will meet to decide the issue. “[It is both a legal and political matter],” said Cepeda.
Meanwhile, the Conservative presidential precandidate Andrés Felipe Arias said that the Council’s decision underlines the error of the decision of the Conservative National Directorate. Furthermore, he said he would consult with members of Congress who support his presidential aspirations, with regional leaders and even with President Uribe himself, in order to determine the way forward.
“I am carefully studying the situation and I will not make a decision until the three days [are up],” Arias said.
Now that the Party is compelled to make a decision, the floor is opened for the nominations of Arias, Fernando Araújo, José Galat, Alvaro Leyva, and Noemi Sanin, Colombia’s Ambassador to the UK who resigned in order to pursue her presidential aspirations.
The decision not to choose a single presidential candidate in the next party meeting on 27 September, was made last Wednesday 26 August by the Conservative National Directorate.