Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos on Friday announced he will begin complying with electoral laws allowing him to run for reelection in national elections in 2014.
In a surprise move, Santos took to the airwaves to announce the resignation of two of his ministers and to essentially declare his candidacy for the presidential elections, to be held in Colombia in mid-2014.
“I wish, clearly and firmly, that the policies we have been promoting will continue after August 7, 2014,” said Santos.
While refusing to explicitly say that he himself will be running for office again, Santos did say he wanted his “policies of peace” to be reelected. Colombian weekly Semana reported that Santos has unofficially confirmed his intention to run again.
In order to not break electoral laws, Santos said he “will be respectful towards the rules of the game and because of that I will not take any formal decision regarding my personal future [after] six months before the upcoming presidential elections.”
“Until that day I will dedicate myself exclusively to developing the government’s work towards the construction of a fairer, more modern and safer country” added the President.
Following the surprise announcement, members of Santos’s U Party demonstrated their support for the reelection campaign, including President of the House of Representative Augusto Posada Sanchez, who stated that the Santos government “has done enough to merit four more years in charge.”
While expressing his own political aspirations, the president announced the resignation of Housing Minister German Vargas and Santos’ General Secretary, Juan Mesa Zuleta.
Vargas had previously been touted as a possible presidential candidate and following the announcement of his resignation Santos stated that the minister will become president of the board of directors of the ‘Fundacion Buen Gobierno’, a foundation founded by Santos which works to promote good governance.
En los siguientes días asumiré la Presidencia de la Junta Directiva de la Fundación Buen Gobierno tal como lo acordamos con el Pte. Santos
— Germán Vargas Lleras (@German_Vargas) May 17, 2013
With little more than 12 months to go for the elections, Colombia’s several political powerhouses have begun promoting possible candidates. A new player in the elections will be the Pure Democratic Center, a political movement formed by former President Alvaro Uribe who has vociferously been opposing Santos’ policy and aims for a more conservative government.
- Declaración del Presidente de la República, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón (President’s Office)
- El presidente Santos alista su reelección (Semana)