Inteligencia y Seguridad Frente Externo En Profundidad Economia y Finanzas Transparencia
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05/03/2010 | Colombia - After Uribe: Suddenly, a wide-open race among half-a-dozen would-be successors

The Economist Staff

FOR months Colombian politics has come down to just one question: would Álvaro Uribe, the country’s tough and popular president, succeed in his effort to change the constitution to allow him to run for a third term at a presidential election in May? Such has been Mr Uribe’s sway over his country’s institutions that many pundits assumed the answer was yes. But when it finally came on February 26th the ruling by the Constitutional Court was a rejection sufficiently emphatic as to seem inevitable in retrospect. And with that Colombia finds itself suddenly contemplating a wide-open election.

 

The court ruled by seven to two that the re-election law would have violated the spirit of the constitution as well as being vitiated by irregularities and “substantial violations of democratic principles”. Their verdict means that Mr Uribe is barred from ever seeking the presidency again, not just this year. This spirited defence of judicial independence and checks and balances was met by immediate, if emotional, acquiescence from the president. The important thing, he said, was that his “democratic security” policy, which has beaten back left-wing guerrillas and demobilised right-wing paramilitaries, should continue.

Best-placed to do that is Juan Manuel Santos, Mr Uribe’s former defence minister, who immediately announced his candidacy. But without Mr Uribe to unify it, his broad coalition is already unravelling. The Conservative Party may or may not support Mr Santos, who was formerly a Liberal, depending on the outcome of a primary to be held on the same day as a new Congress is elected on March 14th. Germán Vargas Lleras, another formeruribista, is also running.

An opinion poll taken after the court decision gave Mr Santos 23% at the head of a crowded field of half a dozen plausible candidates, with Gustavo Petro, a moderate leftist opponent of Mr Uribe, second with 11%. It also suggested that 43% would vote for Mr Uribe’s candidate, whoever that turns out to be (he has not yet explicitly endorsed anyone). So a run-off election is likely. Assuming Mr Santos makes the run-off, much will depend on who his opponent his. The opposition is similarly fragmented.

The picture should clear after the election for Congress, which will show the strength of the parties. As well as the Conservatives, the new centre-left Green Party, involving three former mayors of Bogotá, will hold a primary on that day. Most of the candidates, including some from the opposition, say that they would continue and improve Mr Uribe’s “democratic security” policies. They will compete on issues such as health care and unemployment—as well as on their credibility on security. Crime rates have risen again in several big cities over the past year. Colombia is entering a new era, but it is one in which Mr Uribe will continue to cast a long shadow.

The Economist (Reino Unido)

 


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17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
17/01/2009|
11/01/2009|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
06/12/2008|
23/11/2008|
23/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
16/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
04/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
03/11/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
24/10/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
15/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
06/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
05/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
01/09/2008|
22/08/2008|
22/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
17/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
16/08/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
28/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
19/07/2008|
24/05/2008|
24/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
03/05/2008|
29/04/2008|
11/02/2008|
05/01/2008|
09/12/2007|
18/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
10/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/11/2007|
06/09/2007|
26/08/2007|
25/08/2007|
11/07/2007|
16/06/2007|
16/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
10/06/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
19/05/2007|
24/04/2007|
24/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
14/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
05/04/2007|
28/02/2007|
28/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
05/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
04/02/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
29/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
11/01/2007|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
27/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
20/12/2006|
17/11/2006|
30/09/2006|
28/07/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
12/04/2006|
06/03/2006|
21/02/2006|
17/02/2006|
31/01/2006|
10/01/2006|
28/12/2005|
31/10/2005|
26/09/2005|
29/08/2005|
11/08/2005|
08/08/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
24/06/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|
03/04/2005|

ver + notas
 
Center for the Study of the Presidency
Freedom House