The president of the U Party has denied that the proposed Liberal Party reunification will hurt his party, despite rumors that several U Party senators will follow the Cambio Radical Party in rejoining the Liberals.
The leadership of the Cambio Radical Party reportedly accepted a request of the Liberal Party to hold a conference on October 30 to discuss the possible reunification of the Liberal Party. It has also been rumored that 10 of 28 U Party senators would follow Cambio Radical’s reunification with the Liberal Party.
However, in an interview with newspaper El Espectador, U Party President Juan Lozano argued that a Liberal Party reunification will not dissolve the U Party.
“The U [Party] has a bloc of about 80 candidates [sic] and, with some exceptions that can be counted on one hand, the party is sure to continue as the primary political force in the country,” said Lozano.
“We are the party with more registered candidates and they do not want to join any other forces because they are convinced that when the U [Party] governs the country, it does well,” Lozano added.
He also maintained that his party will perform exceptionally well in the October regional elections.
“The U is here to stay in Colombian life, it is a party with historic vocation, in the October elections it will multiply its presence and increase its regional presence substantially compared to the regional elections of 2007,” said Lozano.
Cambio Radical leader German Vargas Lleras left the Liberal Party in 1998 to form his own party and joined the coalition of former President Alvaro Uribe in 2006, while the Liberal Party opposed the two Uribe administrations. After Vargas Lleras’ opposition to the 2010 reelection of Uribe, his party politically moved towards the old liberal dogmas and away from the hard-line policies of Uribe. Both Cambio Radical and the Liberal Party now form part of Santos’ coalition in Congress.