Colombia: Colombian Left Makes Modest Gains against President Alvaro Uribe in Regional Elections

NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs, November 9, 2007 | Go to article overview

Colombia: Colombian Left Makes Modest Gains against President Alvaro Uribe in Regional Elections


Regional elections somewhat weakened conservative President Alvaro Uribe's control of various posts around the country, although parties allied with him still maintain control of most of the Colombian political scene. A leftist opponent of Uribe, Samuel Moreno, won the mayor's race in Bogota, keeping the post conventionally known as the second-most-important office in the country in the hands of the left-wing Polo Democratico Alternativo (PDA). In the lead-up to the Oct. 28 vote, more than two dozen candidates were assassinated, while 10 others were kidnapped and about 100 faced death threats, according to Miami-based newspaper El Nuevo Herald.

Moreno takes torch of official opposition

Colombians voted to fill some 15,000 regional posts, including governors, mayors, regional assembly members, and municipal officials. Uribe's coalition won 17 of 32 governorships and 13 mayoralties in provincial capitals, counting the wins of the Partido Conservador, Cambio Radical, Alas Equipo Colombia, and Partido de la U, all parties allied with the president.

Nevertheless, the press and opposition parties called Uribe the loser of the election, with the failure of his preferred candidate in Bogota. PDA president Carlos Gaviria claimed victory, saying that Uribe "wanted to link his luck to this campaign [against Moreno], and he came out the opposite of his plan. In this moment, the PDA has obtained an overwhelming victory and the president of the republic has been soundly defeated in Bogota."

Moreno, an ally of outgoing Bogota mayor Luis "Lucho" Eduardo Garzon, ran against Enrique Penalosa, an independent candidate backed by Uribe. Moreno, a 47-year-old economist and lawyer, is the grandson of ex-military dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla (1953-1957). He will replace Garzon on Dec. 31.

Garzon, a former labor leader and presidential candidate, won the mayoralty in 2003 (see NotiSur, 2003-10-31), making him a top opposition figure to the generally popular president. Garzon has popularity numbers around 60%.

Moreno received about 897,000 votes, 200,000 more than Garzon won four years ago. He took about 43% of the total votes cast in the mayoral race. Penalosa won 543,000 votes, about 28%. Coming in third was sports announcer William Vinasco with some 350,000 votes, about 16%. Abstention in Bogota declined between 4% and 5% relative to the 2003 election.

Moreno expressed his happiness with the "historic" victory, saying, "Starting now, I am the mayor of all Bogotanos." In his first public statement after the vote, he said, "We are going to construct a more positive, more inclusive, and more democratic Bogota where we can all live better."

Moreno's ambitious plan of governance includes issues like security, education, environmental improvement (Bogota has the third-worst air pollution of any Latin American city), better transit and transport service in a disorderly city with high crime rates.

Despite his big win, the city council Moreno will work with will have an Uribista majority.

Some observers like opinion columnist Maria Jimena Duzan of Bogota daily newspaper El Tiempo and Simone Bruno of news network TeleSUR accused Uribe of meddling excessively in the Bogota mayor's race. Bruno said Uribe had accused Moreno of "buying votes" and receiving support from the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). Duzan's analysis of the Moreno victory credited the voters of Bogota with rejecting Uribe's interference and turning in even greater numbers toward Moreno. El Nuevo Herald reported that Uribe campaigned openly for Penalosa even though the law prohibits it.

Some analysts claimed that Uribe's losses reflected a calling to account for the many legislators and Uribe allies who have been investigated by the courts and prosecutors for links to right-wing paramilitary groups (see NotiSur, 2006-12-01 and 2007-03-02).

On Oct. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Colombia: Colombian Left Makes Modest Gains against President Alvaro Uribe in Regional Elections
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.