Colombian President Alvaro Uribe said Wednesday that he won’t stand in
the way of a close ally in next year’s election, despite efforts by his
backers to amend the constitution to let him seek a third term.
In an interview with The Associated Press, Uribe refused to rule out
another run for the presidency, but suggested he’ll give someone else a
chance to continue his legacy.
“There are some close allies who
are making and are going to make a big push to win the people’s favor
and get to the presidency,” Uribe said. “I wouldn’t be the person to
frustrate those efforts.”
In a 40-minute interview in the “Yellow
Room” of his presidential palace, Uribe said he isn’t concerned about
remaining in power personally, but that he wants to ensure that any
successor would continue his military crackdown on leftist rebels,
which has brought down kidnapping and murder rates and made Colombia
attractive to foreign investment.
Uribe’s allies changed the
constitution to enable his re-election in 2006, and a third term would
require yet another change. While the United States has criticized
Uribe’s leftist rivals in Latin America for constitutional amendments
removing limits on their re-election, it has so far remained silent on
a possible third term for its ally Uribe. (AP)