Sector of Green Alliance to vote for Santos in second round

Enrique Peñalosa (Photo: Semana)

A sector of former presidential candidate Enrique Peñalosa’s Green Alliance Party has declared that it will support incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos in the upcoming second round of Colombia’s presidential elections, according to the party’s website.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the Green Alliance asked its voters to leave behind any “hatred” and instead focus on “building a Colombia where we all fit in.”

“Terrified” of Uribe return

“Interpreting the feelings of our leaders and voters across the country, we have decided not to express public support for any of the two candidates in contention. We encourage each of our voters to vote for the alternative that best interprets the principles and program proposals of our Green Alliance,” continued the statement.

This did not stop some members of the party from giving their own personal endorsements for the presidency.

Since that statement, some lawmakers have said that “they are terrified” to think that former President Alvaro Uribe and his political group could return to power in the form of presidential candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, reported Colombian daily El Espectador.

Senator John Sudarsky of the Green Alliance said, “We will vote for Santos because we dread the Oscar Ivan Zuluaga peace.”

“We insist that these peace negotiations should be a policy that continues from government to government”

On Tuesday, The Green Alliance, had explicitly stated that they would not back the handpicked candidate of former President Uribe, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga.

MOREGreen Alliance rules out supporting Zuluaga in second round

Similarly, representative Angela Maria Robledo, declared that she supports “peace” and prefers an “imperfect peace to a perpetual war.”

Continuation and completion of negotiations

“The essential continuation and completion of negotiations in Havana” is one of the major points in the Green Alliance statement. “Failure to do so [continue the peace talks] would be a historic mistake. We insist that these peace negotiations should be a policy that continues from government to government,” continued the declaration.

Peace talks between the Government and the FARC, the country’s largest guerrilla group, have been ongoing since November 2012 and so far three of six points on the peace agenda have been completed.

The election has increasingly been framed as a choice between war and peace, especially since Zuluaga won the first round of the election with incumbent Juan Manuel Santos in second place.

In a press conference on Monday, following the tense but peaceful electoral contest, Zuluaga reiterated an earlier promise to suspend the talks, stressing he would do so on his first day in office.

MOREZuluaga makes suspending FARC peace talks central point in race to 2nd round

Zuluaga back-flip may change political landscape

Since the sector of the Green Alliance showed its support to Santos, Zuluaga has reversed his stance about suspending the peace talks.

In order to gain political support from the Conservative’s former presidential candidate Marta Lucia Ramirez, Zuluaga flip-flopped on his main campaign platform and is now in favor of continuing negotiations with the FARC.

MORE: New conservative alliance sees Zuluaga flip-flop on Colombia’s peace talks

Meanwhile, the parties of the three candidates who did not progress to the second round are now split over which candidate to support in the second.

The majority of Ramirez’s conservative party have given their support to Santos while Enrique Peñalosa said that he would not support any candidate despite a faction of his Green Alliance Party’s endorsement of Santos.

Peñalosa was the definitive loser of Sundays elections, commanding a dismal 8.3% of the vote. The Green Alliance (Alianza Verde – AV) candidate who was just a month ago tied in polls with victor Zuluaga — and once favored to defeat Santos in a second round –failed to mobilize Colombians on all fronts.

MOREZuluaga and Santos to vie for Colombia’s presidency in 2nd round of voting

The second round of the election will take place on June 15.


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