Several right-wing presidential candidates and President Alvaro Uribe met privately on Monday to agree on an electoral strategy for 2010 Colombian presidential contest, newspaper El Tiempo reported Tuesday.
Noemí Sanín, Andrés Felipe Arias, Rodrigo Rivera, and Juan Manuel Santos, all Uribistas, attended the meeting with the President. The objective of the reunion was to reach agreement on the re-election referendum and Uribe’s possible third presidential candidacy.
According to the newspaper, Uribe insisted on his opposition against perpetuating one person in power, but he also acknowledged that he felt obliged to meet the request of the Colombians who signed for the re-election referendum.
While Andres Felipe Arias and Juan Manuel Santos said that they will run for president in 2010 election only if President Uribe decides not to campaign for a third presidential term, Noemí Sanín, who openly opposes Uribe’s second re-election, stated she will run for president whether or not Uribe takes part in the presidential race.
Rodrigo Rivera, on the other hand, insisted that all uribistas should focus on the re-election referendum to allow Uribe a second re-election.
Uribe repeated he will not announce his 2010 aspirations until after the referendum that will allow him to run for a third consecutive term. The referendum, if it passes the constitutionality test at the Constitutional Court, will take place in 2010, while the electoral law forces Uribe to decide on his presidential aspirations before November 30, 2009.
In spite of his opposition to power perpetuation, Uribe signed the re-election referendum last week.
Uribe’s popularity soars every week according to polls conducted by different pollsters, who have also found that if Uribe does not run for president most of his votes will be inherited by Juan Manuel Santos, leaving insignificant votes for the other candidates.
The Colombian 2010 presidential election will be held on May 30.