Colombia’s leftist parties ‘to join forces’ in uphill presidential election

Posted on Mar 13 2014 - 9:49pm by Rico
Aida Avella (L) and Clara Lopez

Presidential candidates for Colombia’s left leaning parties the Democratic Pole and the Patriotic Union, are reportedly set to become running mates in an effort to unite voters on the left, reported Semana magazine Thursday.

Presidential candidate Aida Avella of the Patriotic Union has reportedly agreed to terminate her presidential bid and join the Democratic Pole’s candidate Clara Lopez as her running mate.

The two candidates and parties have reportedly been negotiating a strategy for weeks to team up in hopes of drawing a greater percentage of the electorate on election day, May 25 of this year.

The agreement comes less than a week after Sunday’s congressional elections.  Both parties faired rather poorly in the elections which could have encouraged the two candidates to come to an agreement more quickly.

The Democratic Pole gained slightly less than 2 percent of the vote in the House of Representatives, resulting in three seats.  This is one less seat than the last elections in 2010.  In the Senate the Democratic Pole party was able to pick up five seats with almost 5 percent of the vote but this was a loss of three seats from the 2010 elections.

MORE: Colombia’s 2014 congressional elections election results

The Patriot Union was not present in the 2010 elections but on Sunday the party registered less than 1 percent of the vote in the House of Representatives and won no seats.  The party did not have candidates in the Senate elections.

The announcement of a collaborative political effort in the presidential elections comes after a Colombia Reports interview with Aida Avella Wednesday in which she attributed election success in Colombia to the extent of candidate financing. She went on to say that great wealth is now a requirement to get elected to public offices adding “the competition is no longer a discussion of ideas. It (is) a contest of wealth.”

MORE: Money, not votes, opens doors to Colombia’s Congress: Aida Avella

Both the Democratic Pole party and the Patriotic Union party draw their support from the far left and are opposed to neoliberal economic policies and support an expansion to social welfare programs.


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