Amid cries of “Viva Alvaro Uribe,” Partido de la U officially launched former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos as their 2010 presidential candidate Monday afternoon at a party assembly in Bogota.
The candidate’s launch was celebrated simultaneously in 32 cities around Colombia via the internet and teleconferencing.
In his first speech as an official presidential candidate, Santos said his primary goal was to build on the successes achieved under current President Alvaro Uribe.
“Just as we consolidated Democratic Security far and wide around the fatherland, our promise now is to extend democratic prosperity to the last corner of the republic,” Santos said.
Santos said he was a man with experience, who knows what needs to be done for Colombia.
He will register as a presidential candidate on Thursday, along with his – as yet unknown – vice presidential candidate.
Partido de la U is a coalition formed in 2005, which supported independent President Uribe.
Uribe is ineligible to run for a third term in office after Colombia’s Constitutional Court ruled that a referendum to allow him to stand for the presidency again was unconstitutional.
Opinion polls show that Santos is the most popular presidential candidate.
Presidential elections will be held in May of this year.