Partido de la U presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos suggested that if Antanas Mockus won the presidency, he could lead Colombia down “an unknown path” and return the country to its troubled past, reports El Tiempo.
In a series of comments about Mockus, the Green Party candidate who has been gaining on front-runner Santos in the polls, the uribista candidate said “Colombia needs to continue with what the president, Alvaro Uribe, has set as the course. We are at a critical moment for the country, in which we are going to decide if we continue in the direction we are going, or if we change to an unknown path that may bring us to a standstill or make us return to the past.”
“There are many both inside and outside of the country that would like to see us return to the past,” the former defense minister added.
Santos, whose family is co-owner of Colombia’s influential El Tiempo newspaper, portrayed himself as a victim of the Colombia media.
“Mockus is a media phenomenon and the media have helped him enormously. You can see in any media [source] that they only criticize this side [Santos’ campaign] and they only have praise for him, and that is part of his campaign,” Santos said.
Santos also stressed the differences between Mockus and himself. “I am different from him in many ways. Firstly, I shaved off my beard. I believe in God. I believe in having an army,” he said.
The latest voter opinion poll released Friday, indicates that Mockus is snapping at Santos’ heels in the race for the presidency. Voter support for Santos is at 35% while Mockus popularity has leaped from 29% to 34% in just two weeks. The poll also indicated that in a second round election, Mockus would beat Santos 50% to 44%.
The first round of Colombia’s presidential elections will be held on May 30. If none of the candidates wins more than 50% of the vote, the two most popular candidates will face off in a second round election.