Two left-wing parties in Colombia have chosen to support the reelection campaign of President Juan Manuel Santos in the upcoming second round of Presidential elections, citing the ongoing peace process with the FARC as the main reason, Colombia’s national media reported on Friday.
With official declarations by both parties, the leftist parties Patriotic March (Marcha Patriótica) and Patriotic Union (Unión Patriótica – UP) officially endorsed the reelection campaign of Juan Manuel Santos, due to his initiation and continued support of the peace process with the FARC underway in Havana, Cuba, according to Colombia’s La Silla Vacilla news outlet.
|“At this moment, we believe it is best to support the candidate who has opened dialogues, and seeks a political and negotiated solution [to the armed conflict]”|
In a press conference, leader of the UP and first-round running-mate for Clara Lopez, Aida Avella stated, “At this moment, we believe it is best to support the candidate who has opened dialogues, and seeks a political and negotiated solution [to the armed conflict],” she continued stating, “our desire is for Colombia to not return to the conflict.”
PROFILE: Patriotic Union
Ivan Cepeda, member of the Alternative Democratic Pole (PDA) and Senator-elect took to Twitter to express his support for Juan Manuel Santos and the peace process, “I don’t want a paramilitarized country, I want a democratic country. I will vote in favor of the peace process in Havana, Cuba that is being constructed by this government and the FARC.”
No quiero un país paramilitarizado, quiero un país democrático. Votaré por el proceso de La Habana que construyen este gobierno y las FARC.
— Iván Cepeda Castro (@IvanCepedaCast) 30. Mai 2014
Cepeda’s father was a Colombian Senator for the Patriotic Union, assassinated in 1994 by state agents along with an estimated four to six thousand other members since the establishment of the party in 1985.
Patriotic March endorsement
Leader of the Patriotic March, controversial politician Piedad Cordoba, stated that the end of the conflict is the “greatest desire” for all Colombians. She continued, stating that “Peace has to do with everything. Achieving peace generates condition that will finally construct a new nation.”
The PDA, the largest leftist party in Colombia encompassing a wide spectrum of ideologies on the left, chose on Thursday to not endorse either conservative candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga or incumbent President Juan Manuel Santos in the second round of elections, slated for 15 June. The PDA chose instead to leave the decision up to voters, encouraging them to vote – or not – in the manner in which they felt comfortable.
First round of elections
The first round of elections, held on May 25 failed to produce a winner with over 50% of the vote required to avoid a second round. This round will be contested between incumbent President and U candidate Juan Manuel Santos, and CD candidate Oscar Ivan Zuluaga. The PDA candidate, Clara Lopez, with UP running-mate Avella, received fourth place in the first round elections with 15.23% of the total vote.
Polls for the second round, slated for June 15, have shown Santos and Zuluaga neck and neck, making endorsements a vital part of both their campaigns.