Colombia’s left-leaning Green Alliance (Alianza Verde) party determined its candidate for upcoming presidential elections in a lopsided internal election Sunday.
With 48% support — more than 1,340,000 votes — Enrique Peñalosa was the decisive nominee heading into May’s elections. Peñalosa, an academic and former Mayor of Bogota, beat out Camilo Romero, who claimed 16% of the vote, and John Sudarsky, who polled third with 8%, according to the El Tiempo newspaper.
After having lost elections for Senate, for president and for re-election as mayor, Peñalosa was reserved in his celebration Sunday, reportedly saying, “In the past four elections in which I have participated I have lost. I show my scars from those losses, so I prefer to wait without triumph.”
The latest Colombian presidential candidate was nevertheless expressed excitement to supporters, tweeting, “I am infinitely thankful for everything and to everyone who voted for us! I will work hard to deserve it! Thank you!”
According to El Tiempo, the Green Alliance candidate has not determined a running mate and expressed Peñalosa’s intention to run his campaign independently of political alliances to other parties, such as former President Alvaro Uribe’s Democratic Center Party. In Peñalosa’s most recent run for mayor, he accepted strong backing from Uribe, a move that many have said cost him the election.
The early outlook is bright for the newest member of the presidential field. Even before Peñalosa announced his candidacy, he was polling ahead of all but two of his competitors.
Peñalosa has typically associated with the Liberal Party, only recently becoming affiliated with the Green Alliance.
The Green Alliance Party was founded in 2005 and advocates social justice, environmental responsibility and non-violence as means of improving social and economic problems in Colombia. Peñalosa was a pre-candidate for the party for the 2010 presidential elections, but lost out to Antanas Mockus, who eventually came in second place.
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