Accusations of voter fraud have already surfaced after Colombia’s former Finance Minister, Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, won the nomination to be the presidential candidate for former President Alvaro Uribe‘s political party.
Rumors of last-minute voter fraud have been rampant since the Uribe Centro Democratico convention concluded Sunday evening. The convention sought to pick the party’s next candidate to run for president, and Zuluaga won out over former Interior Minister Carlos Trujillo and former Vice President Francisco “Pacho” Santos.
Santos was expected to win the primary as polls from Saturday estimated that he would receive 55% of the vote, with Zuluaga expected to get a paltry 11%. Now various politicians and political analysts are suggesting that the vote was rigged to “block” Santos’ election, according to newspaper El Espectador.
“At the very last minute many [Zuluaga] supporters [showed up] and filled the office of the private secretary of Zuluaga…I know that Santos cannot believe this result,” said Senator Armando Beneditti.
Senator Roy Barreras said that the election was not democratic at all: “Everything was chosen at random, the delegates were chosen at random, the types of sandwiches were chosen at random, and the final candidate was chosen at random. It’s going to be a short flight for [Zuluaga’s] campaign.”
Zuluaga himself did not comment on these accusations, and Uribe expressed weariness when asked about claims of fraud and if he was trying to ‘block’ Santos’ election.
“I’m too old to answer that … if you had asked my mom if (the result) was fair, she would had hit whoever said that in the face with a briefcase,” he said.
The seemingly fatigued former President also had to field criticisms this weekend from President Juan Manuel Santos, who called Uribe and his party ‘vultures’ for opposing the peace talks between the government and rebel group FARC.
“We can’t let the positive path consolidated by our convention be clouded by such suspicions, or because President Juan Manuel Santos calls us vultures,” concluded Uribe, standing by his party and new candidate.
None of the rumors of fraud have yet been substantiated.
- ¿Hubo fraude en convención del uribismo para perjudicar a Francisco Santos? (El Espectador)
- Uribe desestimó suspicacias sobre elección de Óscar Iván Zuluaga (El Espectador)