While speaking at a summit of the country’s mayors, VP Marta Lucia Ramirez said praised the quality of “the national government under the leadership of President Uribe, of President Duque, pardon me.”
— Julián F. Martínez (@JulianFMartinez) November 20, 2018
The blunder of Ramirez, a long-time ally of Uribe, further spurs speculation about who really is in control of Colombia’s government, the president or his political patron.
While campaigning to become president earlier this year, even Duque himself referred to Uribe as Colombia’s “eternal president.”
The vice-president, who was Uribe’s defense minister between 2002 and 2004, is not the first to forget who her boss is.
Duque’s justice minister, the transport minister, the foreign minister and the post-conflict commissioner reportedly also made the mistake of referring to Uribe as the president, and thus their boss.
Critics have referred to Duque, who was virtually unknown in Colombia until Uribe endorsed him as candidate, as Uribe’s “puppet.”
The former president, who was in office between 2002 and 2004, is the leader of Duque’s Democratic Center party and leading the party’s senate faction, often undermining his own protege’s authority.
Duque’s apparent inability to exercise maximum authority over the government and the diplomatic corps have led to multiple mishaps. Furthermore, he has been unable to push legislation through congress.
According to pollster Invamer, the president can count on the support of only 27% of the Colombian people only three months after he took office on August 7.
In an attempt to stimulate the authority of the president, who had no executive experience before assuming Colombia’s highest office, his press office even sent out a press release on Friday, stressing that the head of state was no “showbiz president.”