Colombia President Santos’ U Party accused of fraud in 2014 elections

Posted on Mar 10 2014 - 11:08pm by Rico
Fabio Valencia Cossio (Photo: El Universal)

Former Colombian minister Fabio Valencia Cossio has accused Sunday’s 2014 congressional elections of having been rigged against former Colombian president and newly elected senator Alvaro Uribe.

The former Minister of the Interior and Justice and steadfast former president Uribe ally claimed on Monday that the voting trend in the Senate’s 2014 elections switched all too suspiciously in favor of President Juan Manuel Santos’ Party of the U in the coastal region, north Colombia.

Valencia Cossio, who is a political strategist for former president Alvaro Uribe’s recently formed Democratic Center (Centro Democratico) party, decried the supposed “chocorazo” – which signifies to “bring down someone who is winning an election by giving votes to other candidates during the ballot count,” reported El Espectador newspaper.

“There was a ‘chocorazo’ in the coast, as the trend in favor of the Democratic Center changed in favor of the U [party] in a grotesque manner,” Valencia Cossio said.

“They didn’t let us check the poll recount software and no-one can explain how the trend of votes changed from favoring the Democratic Center to favor the U [party].”

During Sunday’s election, Uribe’s newly-formed party had in fact swept into the lead and looked like it could have potentially maintained its top spot in Senate until the end of the day. Uribe became the first candidate to gain a seat in Senate for the 2014 to 2018 term.

MORE: Santos coalition takes beating in Colombia’s congressional election

MOREAlvaro Uribe, clear winner of Colombia’s 2014 congressional election

However, the pro-Santos coalition parties — who in the 2006 to 2010 term enjoyed a huge majority in both the House of Representatives and Senate — did not take long to make a comeback.

MORE: Santos coalition not worried after collective congressional hit

“We reported it and the National Civil Registry denied a pre-audit,” said the steadfast Uribe supporter and chairman of his party’s Central Political Committee.

Colombian Registrar Carlos Ariel Sanchez retaliated by stating that no votes are lost in the National Civil Registry, and that only after the recount will the relevant parties be officially given their seats in Congress.

Valencia Cossio’s announcement comes on the same day that the Democratic Center published a press release condemning the alleged “cheating” of the incumbent U Party.

In the statement, Santos’ government is accused of tricking the electorate into voting for the U Party by using publicity that made it seem that his and Uribe’s were the same party, as well as by buying voters all over the country and through electoral fraud.

At the final count on Sunday, the incumbent U Party led the Senate election by 184,644 ballots, or 1.29% more votes than the Democratic Center.

In House, the Democratic Center took fifth place behind the four parties of the pro-Santos coalition.

The National Electoral Council began their recount on Monday.

MORE: Who are the winners of Colombia’s 2014 congressional election?


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