Polo Democratico leader Gustavo Petro rejected an offer by Partido de la U presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos to join the Uribista’s “government of national unity.”
Following the Green Party’s rejection of an alliance proposed by Petro, Santos invited Polo Democratico to join his coalition because, while he recognized that their ideological perspectives differ, they share the common goal of agrarian reform – both are in favor of repossessing land taken by illegal armed groups and returning it to the displaced.
According to Santos, the issue of the military pact, which grants the U.S. that allows the North American nation access to seven bases around Colombia, is not relevant because the bases have always been in the Andean nation and will be for a long time.
Green Party presidential candidate Antanas Mockus declined Petro’s poposed alliance primarily because of their conflicting view on foreign policy.
Petro has previously said that if elected he would renegotiate the military pact, while Mockus said he would maintain the agreement, as would former defense minister Santos.
Petro rejected Santos’ proposal as “incoherent” and little more than opportunism. The former M-19 guerrilla suggested that Santos make the committment to “an agreement of national unity” if and when he is elected president, and not before.
The Polo Democratico leader reiterated that his team will not support either Mockus or Santos in Colombia’s second round presidential election, which means his party will advise followers to either abstain from voting, or turn in a blank vote.
Given that no presidential candidate gained the majority vote to win Colombia’s first round presidential elections last May 30, as the most voted-for candidates Santos and Mockus will face-off in a second round election on June 20.