Newly re-elected President Juan Manuel Santos asked Colombians to ignore the accusations of Alvaro Uribe that there was fraud and vote buying in Sunday’s election, reported newspaper Vanguardia.
Santos said Monday that he wants to write a new chapter for the country and, “turn the page,” of hatred, resentment, retaliation and false accusations of former president Uribe.
“The country is tired of that. You’ve seen the amount of accusations they have made and when you say where is the proof they come out with a stream of drool. They say, I have no proof,” said the head of state.
“Absolutely disproportionate” to speak of fraud
After Santos defeated Alvaro Uribe’s handpicked candidate , Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, in Sunday’s second round election by over 900,000 votes, Uribe complained that the government had promoted corruption and vote buying during the election.
Santos in retaliation reminded him that international observers who monitored the elections said that talk of fraud had no basis or meaning. A statement from the head of the electoral observation mission of the Organization of American States (OAS), Jose Maria Figueres, said it is, “absolutely disproportionate” to speak of fraud in the presidential elections last Sunday.
Uribe however has continued to make claims of electoral fraud, repeatedly posting accusations on his Twitter.
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) June 18, 2014
He has made repeated claims of vote buying for the Santos campaign, as well as illegal campaign propaganda and publicity, and the illicit use of state fund in the Santos campaign.
Por qué se quiere guardar silencio sobre compra de votos, imposición de Farc, publicidad ilegal y abusiva con recursos públicos?
— Álvaro Uribe Vélez (@AlvaroUribeVel) June 17, 2014
The offficial and independent electoral watchdog in Colombia produced reports which disagree with Uribe’s statements of widespread electoral fraud.
Colombia’s main independent electoral watchdog, the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE) announced only 196 reports of electoral irregularities and crimes gathered between 6AM and 3PM during the second round of Colombia’s presidential elections on Sunday.
Santos served as defense minister when Uribe was president and Santos was the handpicked candidate of Uribe to continue the offensive against the country’s largest rebel group, FARC. When Santos began peace talks with the guerrillas in 2012, the relationship between the two soured dramatically to the point where they are now arch political rivals.