Opposition presidential candidates Gustavo Petro and German Vargas Lleras both on Thursday announced the selection of women as their vice-presidential running mates.
Petro, candidate for the left-wing Polo Democratico party, selected Clara Lopez Obregon, Bogota government secretary, as his running mate. It may be a risky move for Petro, as the current mayor of Bogota is unpopular in the polls. But Obregon has wide support within Polo Democratico, and may help Petro to unite his fractured party.
On Tuesday Cambio Radical’s presidential candidate, German Vargas Lleras, selected economist Elsa Noguera as his running mate. She may help draw votes from the coast, as she previously worked as treasury secretary for the coastal city of Barranquilla. Noguera also happens to be the niece of Fuad Ricardo Chad Abdala, a powerful businessman from the coast, who could prove to be a useful political ally for Lleras.
Meanwhile Liberal Party candidate, Rafael Pardo, asked Anibal Gaviria, former governor of the Antioquia department, to run alongside him. The pick is widely interpreted as an attempt to draw votes away from Sergio Fajardo, the ex-mayor of Antioquia’s capital, Medellin.
Front-runner Juan Manuel Santos chose Angelino Garzon as his vice presidential candidate on Wednesday. Garzon is Colombia’s representative to the United Nations and is the former governor of Valle del Cauca.
Sergio Fajardo, who is running as an independent, selected former congressman Julio Londoño for their joint ticket. As the current ambassador to Cuba and the former foreign affairs minister, Londoño’s grasp of foreign policy may compensate for what is perceived as Fajardo’s lack of similar experience.
Colombia’s presidential elections will be held in May.