If Partido de la U candidate Juan Manuel Santos wins the presidency in the country’s June 20 election, he is likely to have even greater support in Colombian congress than outgoing President Alvaro Uribe, reports Semana.
With the Colombian Conservative Party and Cambio Radical having announced their support for Santos’ campaign, and with key Liberals also in support of Santos, as president the “Uribista” could potentially have the backing of 232 of the nation’s 268 lawmakers. This would mean that Santos would have even more legislative power then his predecessor Uribe.
Such broadrange political support would open the way for Santos to develop reforms and laws that would strengthen his governmental program, because he could have the support of over 80% of congress.
Potential Santos supporters
Santos would have the backing of : 27 Partido de la U senators and 49 representatives; 23 Conservative senators and 37 representatives; eight senators and 13 representatives from Cambio Radical, which would equal 58% of lawmakers and 157 seats. If he were also to have the backing of the majority of the Liberals – 11 senators and 25 representatives – he would have almost unconditional backing. If he were to have complete backing from the Liberals – 18 senators and 35 representatives, he would have the support of 210 lawmakers.
If scandal-ridden political party PIN – with eight senators and 14 representatives – were also to back Santos, his legislative power would be even greater. The PIN have said that they plan to back a government that continues with Uribe’s “democratic security” policy. If the PIN were to join a Santos coaltion, this would bring the number of lawmakers backing the Partido de la u frontman to 232.
Opposition to Santos
If Santos wins the election, the opposition to his coalition would be comprised of eight senators and five representatives from Polo Democratico, plus five senators and one representative from the Greens – a totla of 19 lawmakers.
Polo Democratico Senator Enrique Robledo expressed concern at such a dynamic, commenting “the fact that Dr Santos would have such backing… knowking him he will use that strength to make an even worse disaster than Uribe did. The opposition can not bend to that kind of National Front, we must not fall into the trap of this project of national unity.”
For Robledo, if Santos receives mass backing “we will enter the ninth year of the Uribe government… Santos is a caricature of Uribe and has all the defects of the President. We saw what guarantees the opposition had during eight years of government of Alvaro Uribe: political persecution by state agencies.”