Former President Alvaro Uribe said Monday his newly-founded political movement will announce in July who will be its presidential candidate in Colombia’s 2014 elections.
The former president did so after meeting with a handful if his closest political allies with who Uribe is trying to recover political ground from his successor, sitting President Juan Manuel Santos.
Uribe is by law not allowed to run for a third term in 2014 and has increasingly distanced himself from Santos after the latter took office in August 2010, appointing political rivals of his former boss.
Currently, Uribe is one of Santos’ fiercest critics in Colombian politics.
“We’re going to put the eggs with a different hen, because this one is letting them rot,” Uribe said at a public rally a day before meeting with his allies, “We need to get to the President’s Office and Congress with the Democratic Center [party] to work on a security policy, to protect the lives of our soldiers and policemen. We need to recover security for all.”
The Democratic Center leaders met in a hotel in Antioquia — where the former president is from — to define how to come to a single presidential candidate and how to define the regional candidates for Congress.
According to a statement published on Facebook, Uribe said formal presidential candidates will be defined on July 30.
Following this formal selection, primaries will be held to decide who will represent the Uribe loyalists in May next year when Colombia takes to the polls.
Informally, Uribe and his movement have already defined the candidates for the primary:
The former president, who is not allowed to run for a third term himself, said all candidates are supposed to stick to five key issues defined by Uribe and his allies:
After having formally defined who will take part in the primaries, the former President will seek political allies in existing political parties, and congressional candidates can begin looking for the signatures needed for them to be able to take part in the congressional elections.
According to Uribe, his movement will not just seek to strengthen itself on the right of the political spectrum.
“We will be talking and we will be looking for coalitions with the Conservative Party, independent sectors within the U [Party of Santos], Liberalism, [the] Cambio Radical [party], sectors from the democratic left.”
According to Senator Juan Carlos Velez, one of the candidates’ on Uribe’s shortlist, the former president at the moment can only count on the loyalty of “five or six” congressmen. According to pollster Gallup, Uribe lost a lot of the popular support he enjoyed while in office, but can still count on more support than his successor despite being out of the political limelight.