Former President Alvaro Uribe is the big winner of Colombia’s congressional election. The former head of state became the first to have a congressional seat secured and his new party is close to being biggest in the Senate.
With the latest electoral victory, Uribe has once again made history; After becoming the first president to serve a second term under Colombia’s 1991 constitution, he will now become the first former president to serve in Colombia’s Senate as the leader of the largest faction.
With over 93% of the votes counted, Uribe’s Democratic Center Party almost outperformed the U Party of President Juan Manuel Santos, whose party lost more than half of its electoral support.
The Democratic Center received roughly 14.8% of the votes for the senate, a little less than 0.3% of the votes that went to U Party.
Colombia has not seen a newcomer party enter Congress like this since 2006 when President Juan Manuel Santos’ U Party premiered with 17.3%.
The former President used to be an ally of Santos. In fact, Santos formed his U Party originally to support Uribe almost a decade ago and occupied several ministers’ post in Uribe’s two administrations from 2002 to 2010.
However, following Santos’ election in 2010, the two politicians grew further apart.
Santos appointed political enemies of Uribe to his cabinet while the prosecutor general, appointed by the court from Santos’ shortlist actively increased prosecuting Uribe allies for their alleged ties to paramilitary groups and other acts of corruption.
When Santos in 2012 announced to begin formal peace talks with the country’s largest rebel group, the FARC, Uribe openly turned against his successor and became Colombia’s most vociferous opponent of peace talks.
If the former president refuses to join Santos’ coalition, the Democratic Center will become to biggest opposition party in both the House and Senate.
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