In interviews with Caracol Radio, Senators Roy Barreras and Armando Benedetti members of the party and the electorate that in 2010 voted for the party must now choose between the former President and his successor Juan Manuel Santos, who no longer see eye to eye.
Both senators appeared to have lost hope that Santos and Uribe can make peace and unite the party. Instead, both now propose to align the party members and electorate behind the sitting president.
According to Barreras, the choice is “between war and peace, the past and hope, between institutions or warlordsism, between the memory and the pursuit of peace.”
Benedetti told the radio station that time has come for those within the party who are loyal to Uribe to join the former President who is in the process of creating a new political party, the Pure Democratic Center.
“More than ever the party has to decide between Uribe and Santos,” said the Senator.
A third U Party lawmaker, Representative Plinio Olano, believed Uribe’s support within the U Party has drastically diminished since leaving office in 2010. Olano told Caracol that he thinks no more than two lawmakers would leave the ruling U Party to join Uribe’s political movement.
The U Party was formed in 2005 by Santos to provide congressional support for Uribe during his second, 2006-2010 term. Santos and his Party won the 2010 congressional and presidential elections while promising to continue Uribe’s policies. Since then, Santos and Uribe have grown increasingly apart and the former President is now Santos’ most vocal critic.