Colombia presidential election

Reprinted with permission from Called to Colombia:

Map-colombia Colombia will be holding a presidential election on May 30th, and it will be a significant day for this violence-torn country.  It will mark the end of the Uribe presidency after 8 years.  President Alvaro Uribe was first elected in 2002 on a platform of a strong military response to the country's major guerrilla group, the FARC, after years of on-again, off-again peace negotiations.  While the Colombian Constitution originally limited the presidency to one four year term, in 2006 Uribe's supporters successfully changed the Constitution to allow two terms, and Uribe was re-elected.  Earlier this year, with striking similarity, Uribe's supporters tried to again change the Constitution, allowing for Uribe's open ended election (that is to say, an unlimited term for the presidency).  Colombia's Constitutional Court, however, blocked this effort in February, and the race for the presidency truly began.

There are six major candidates running for the seat on May 30th.  If no candidate obtains 50% of the vote, there will be a run off election on June 20th. The six candidates represent a broad swath of Colombia's political tradition.  Colombia, almost since its inception 200 years ago, has been dominated by two political parties – the Conservative and Liberal parties (those are their actual names).  This dominance of the two parties ended with the election of Uribe, whose previous party affiliation was Liberal, ran as an independent, and governed as a Conservative.

A good site for English language news concerning the election is Colombia Reports 2010 Election site.

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