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News > Latin America

Colombia: De la Calle Rules Out Alliance with Fajardo in First Round of Presidential Elections

  • (R-L): Humberto de la Calle, Sergio Fajardo and Gustavo Petro.

    (R-L): Humberto de la Calle, Sergio Fajardo and Gustavo Petro. | Photo: EFE

Published 14 March 2018

Ivan Duque of Uribe's Democratic Center and Vice President German Vargas Lleras agree on a right-wing alliance in Congress. 

Humberto de la Calle of the Liberal Party announced Tuesday he will run for president, rejecting calls for an alliance with Sergio Fajardo of the Colombia Coalition, who is polling in third.

Controversial Vote Leaves Little Change in Colombia Congress

The announcement came on the same day that two presidential candidates on the right of Colombia’s political spectrum, Ivan Duque and German Vargas Lleras agreed to form an alliance in Congress so whoever wins can govern with Congressional support. 

No political party won more than 20 percent of Senate seats in Colombia’s legislative elections of March 11. Duque’s party, Democratic Center won 19 seats becoming the largest party in the Senate, while Vargas Lleras’ Radical Change became the second largest.

“To constitute and form a new alliance or the alliance that will conduct the destinies of the legislative branch is indispensable, I would hope to have your support,” Vargas Lleras said Tuesday in a meeting with Colombia’s construction sector.

Duque quickly replied his presidency would welcome anyone interested in his party's platform "of legality and entrepreneurship."

Despite some calls for a unified presidential bid from the center-left and left candidates to the presidency under Gustavo Petro, the former mayor of Bogota who is leading the polls, both Fajardo and De la Calle have dismissed this idea.

Some analysts and politicians urged for an alliance between De la Calle and Fajardo who represent a more centrist position to face the first round of the presidential elections scheduled for May 27, both candidates have confirmed “coincidences” but unwillingness to relinquish their candidacies.

Colombia’s Liberal Party won 14 seats in the Senate and 35 in the Chamber of Representatives, making them the fourth largest party in the Senate and the second largest in the Chamber. However, their presidential hopeful is ranking very low in the polls with only five percent of support among voters.

Gustavo Petro who continues leading the poll with over 20 percent didn’t see his party perform well in the legislative elections. His “Decents” coalition got only four seats in the Senate and two in the Chamber.

Neither of the three presidential candidates has announced or dismissed possible congressional alliances. 

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