Presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos said Monday that Partido de la U’s victory in Colombia’s congressional elections is an endorsement of President Alvaro Uribe and the continuation of his policies.
Santos is the presidential candidate for Partido de la U, which has won approximately 25% of the votes counted so far, according to Colombia’s National Registry Office.
“These are exceptional results, votes for our party have increased by more than 70% [compared to Colombia’s last congressional elections]. These results consolidate us as the principal and biggest political force in our nation,” Santos told an assembly of party members.
Partido de la U, formed to support Uribe, has won at 27 of the 102 seats in the Colombian Senate, according to the latest update, published Monday, which says that 93.82% of votes cast on Sunday have been counted.
The Conservative Party is second to La U, with around 20% of the votes, and is expected to occupy 23 or 24 Senate seats. The Conservatives are part of the coalition that supports Uribe.
The biggest surprise of Colombia’s congressional elections has been the success of the new Party for National Integration (PIN), which received almost 8% of the votes. The party is highly controversial because of its links to politicians jailed for links with paramilitaries.
The Colombian government has welcomed this year’s congressional elections as the safest and most trouble-free in 25 years.
Some 440,000 policemen and soldiers were in charge of preventing any disturbances of the public order that could endanger the democratic process.
The Organization of American States sent 100 international observers to monitor the fairness of the elections.
Colombia’s National Registrar announced Monday morning that the votes of the elections are not expected to be counted in full until Friday of this week.