The presidential candidates of Colombia’s main opposition parties Liberal Party and Polo Democratico are trying to maintain unity, while their parties crumble following an overwhelming absence of voters at their primaries Sunday.
Both Rafael Pardo (Liberal Party) and Gustavo Petro (Polo Democratico) have openly spoken out in favor of a possible united front against a referendum seeking the possibility for the popular President, Alvaro Uribe, to seek a new term in office in 2010. Both presidential hopefuls do not rule out approaching independent presidential candidates to strengthen their resistance.
Meanwhile, the oposition’s two main parties crumble. Liberal Party senator Piedad Cordoba told Caracol Radio that she will try to assume leadership of her party, blaming the Liberals’ current president, Cesar Gaviria, of the little popular support for one of Colombia’s traditionally largest parties.
Jaime Dussan, president of Polo Democratico and announced his resignation as party president.
Coalition Senator Armando Bendetti told newspaper El Espectador that the turnout Sunday “shows how the Liberal Party and Polo Democratico have lost ground because they have no closeness or harmony with the people.”
Following the electoral slap in the face of the opposition, the Uribista is hopeful that the referendum will receive the necessary 9 million votes for the constitutional change needed for Uribe to run for the third time.
Colombia’s presidential elections will be held in May next year.