Several candidates for the 2010 presidential election Tuesday vowed there will be no corruption or influence of illegal armed groups in their campaigns.
Presidential hopeful Andrés Felipe Arias, pledged that if chosen as the sole candidate of the Conservative Party, his campaign will not receive support from paramilitaries or other unlawful groups.
“It’s part of the [revamping] and transparency that we have to give this election process, and [that excludes] not only paramilitaries but drug traffickers in general,” Arias told W Radio.
Arias called on opposition groups such as the Polo Democratico to refuse support from other countries that could be disguised as contributions from the FARC.
“I urge that sectors of the Polo Democratico do the same with money coming from other countries [such as] Venezuela, and that the same influence of the FARC can be vetoed by any political campaign.”
“The problem is that there is a form of politics carried out by countertransference of money, where posts are given not to the most qualified people but to those who have offered some kind of support, [and the belief that this is the best way to work].”
Senator and Polo Democratico presidential candidate Gustavo Petro believes that his team has effective filters in place to avoid the support of other countries which could be hiding the FARC.
“For a long time now we have had a number of barriers to the financing of my campaign that people who have joined us [have had to pass].” He also said that his closeness with Hugo Chavez did not mean that his party had bowed to Venezuelan interests.
Another former mayor of Bogota, Luis Eduardo Garzon, believes it is necessary to accommodate the movement’s visionary proposal for Colombia by establishing a trust network where a party can propose its candidate, who is the subjected to public scrutiny. He also thinks that the campaign period should be shortened and that society assume collective responsibility for those that are publicly questioned.
Candidate Cecilia Lopez says of the money that is financing her campaign: “The money has been clearly identified by people who are of the utmost transparency. Some has come directly from the Party and I can swear… that they are people of whom there is no doubt.”
Former mayor of Medellin and current second in the polls, Sergio Fajardo, believes that if the campaigns do not offer [any financial gain] then supporters will join out of their own convictions, without fiscal motivations. This would thus ensure transparency as far as public acts of the candidates are concerned.
“When one does not negotiate to solve a problem; when one does not pay for a vote or buy a leader; when there is nothing to distribute in campaigns other than working for conviction and to physically sweat through your shirt, this guarantees that a large [number of people will never get involved] because there is nothing to divide. There are no bags filled with money. There is only work, and that will ensure a lot.” Fajardo said.
Former ambassador and presidential frontrunner Noemi Sanin said that in order to have true transparency it is necessary that Colombia establish a committee so that when justice requires, it can hold perpetrators accountable and, if necessary, impose political punishment, W Radio reported.