Two established current and former politicians wade into the supposed “rift” between Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his predecessor Alvaro Uribe, with ex-Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo saying that Santos is neglecting the legacy of Uribism, W Radio reported Monday.
Restrepo criticized the Santos administration by stating that the security forces are becoming demotivated and that the incumbent president has not been leading them, leaving him wondering if “this government is governing with the agenda [for which] it was elected?”
“On the issue of the security forces, it is worthwhile asking ourselves what is happening. Why does President Santos not have control over [them]?” he said.
Restrepo continued that Santos only came to power because he represented the political capital of Uribism, but that now “there is a growing sense that he wants to erase the political landscape of all those around ex-President Uribe,” in what he referred to as a “systematic and unfair attack.”
His criticisms were emphatically rejected by Senate President Armando Benedetti, who instead said that Restrepo has “no political power” with which to make such claims, El Tiempo reported.
Benedetti, from the Partido de la U., noted that Restrepo’s call for the party to mobilize in time for the 2014 elections had induced no echo and said that one should “ignore the isolated opinions of people without any representation.”
Concerning the relationship between Santos and Uribe, Benedetti moved to dismiss notions of a significant rift between the pair, explaining that “they are different people who act differently, but maintain a unity of ideas.”
Following a week in which several barbed comments appeared to suggest that Santos and Uribe were at odds with each other, both men dampened the suggestions with Uribe claiming that he had already notified Santos in private of his “respectful” policy objections, while Santos stated that he maintains good relations with his predecessor and that he does “not invent fights with Uribe,” reported Radio Santa Fe.