Three presidential candidates requested that clear rules be laid out regarding electoral campaigning after former Agriculture Minister and Conservative presidential precandiate Andres Felipe Arias was allowed 15 minutes air time on State television.
President Alvaro Uribe allowed Arias, who is under investigation for his role in the agricultural subsidiary scandal, to defend his actions during the televization of a Common Council’s Anti-Corruption meeting.
According to weekly Semana, rules established by the presidency itself often allow two-minute interventions in the Saturday councils. Arias’ fifteen minutes is considered unwarranted involvement by the President.
Aria’s lengthy air time prompted a backlash from other presidential hopefuls.
“We can’t go to a common council meeting to repair the damage he did, we need clear rules,” Fajardo added.
Conservative presidential precandidate Alvaro Leyva Duran, said that the community council incident shows that Uribe “is a de facto candidate who has at his disposal a number of means that the others don’t have. This is a breach of the rules of democracy,” he added.
Polo Democratico precandidate Gustavo Petro said that the most import thing now was for the govenment to provide a neutral State channel that delivers objective information.