Those eligible to vote had the opportunity to choose from one of five candidates. I cannot vote as though I am a resident of Colombia I have not taken the citizenship and thus don't have a Colombian passport. It's not really worth it for me as it is far easier to travel on a British passport. I used to know a guy from Iran and he changed his passport as for him he was hassled less with the Colombian passport than the Iranian one.
Ms. Lopez Obregon was born in Bogotá in 1950 and studied Economics at Harvard University and also Financial and tax law at Salamanca University. She served as the secretary of the Bogota government from 2008 until 2011 when she became the mayor of the capital city replacing Samuel Moreno.
Her key proposals are to change the politics of free trade, and privatization in force during the last 25 years. She promises new social politics and is in favour of a negotiated settlement for the armed conflict that has plagued Colombia for so many years.
He is the incumbent President and is seeking a second four year term. He was born in Bogotá in 1951. He studied Economics and business administration at Kansas University, North America and also has a Master’s in Economics and Economic development from the London School of Economics and another in Public Administration from Harvard University. During the Presidency of Alvaro Uribe, Juan Manuel Santos was the Defence Minister.
During this his first term as President he has been concentrating on peace talks taking place in Havana, Cuba with members of FARC and his campaign for re-election has centred on this plan.
An ex adviser to Juan Manuel Santos, named, JJ Rendón, has been accused by Alvaro Uribe of channeling two million dollars received from drug trafficking groups into the 2010 presidential campaign of Mr Santos.
Ms. Ramirez de Rincon was born in Zipaquirá, Cundinamarca, not far from Bogota. It is in Zipaquirá that you can visit a beautiful catholic cathedral cut out of a salt mine. I visited the original cathedral in 1980, however, the one that exists now is a newer version, the old one was spectacular and well worth taking the time to visit it.
She studied Law at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota and has done graduate degree courses in Senior Management, Commercial Law and Financial Legislation. She worked as defence minister under Alvaro Uribe during his first presidential term from 2002-2010.
Her key proposals are to fight corruption, the strengthening of the justice system and supporting women’s rights.
Oscar Ivan Zuluaga was born in 1959 in Pensilvania, Caldas, Colombia. He studied economics at the Universidad Javeriana of Bogotá. He has a Master’s in Public Finances from Exeter University in England. He has similar opinions to the ex President Alvaro Uribe. Mr. Zuluaga has been involved in a scandal in which he appears in a video talking to a man named Andrés Sepúlveda who has been accused of phone tapping those taking part in the peace talks in Havana..
He is a strong critic of the current peace process with the FARC, and wants to return to the politics of security and aggression against the insurgent groups as was the stance of Alvaro Uribe.
Enrique Peñalosa was born in 1954 in Washington, North America. He studied Economics at Duke University, and has a Master’s and a PhD from Institut international d'administration publique and the Universidad de Paris. He was Mayor of Bogotá in the past and under his administration the city went through a profound transformation mainly due to the implementation of a mass transport system called Transmilenio.
His proposals include the need to implement politics that improve urban security and the quality of life of the majority of Colombians living in the cities, and also to improve education and fight corruption.
The results from yesterday’s ballot were as follows:
Óscar Iván Zuluaga Escobar with 29.26%
Juan Manuel Santos Calderón with 25.67%
Marta Lucía Ramírez de Rincón with 15.53%
Clara Eugenia López Obregón with 15.23%
Enrique Peñalosa Londoño with 8.29%
So the second round will be between Óscar Iván Zuluaga Escobar and Juan Manuel Santos Calderón.
The World cup starts on the 12th of June and Colombia play their first match against Greece on the 14th, so I’m sure some people will be too hung-over on the 15th to want to make the effort to vote, plus on that Sunday there are three matches so I imagine there being a surge in voting in between the games so the traffic jams in the city could be frustrating. Yesterday there was a lot of traffic around mid day caused by people going to vote.
Who will be the outright winner on the 15th is hard to call as three weeks is a long time in politics, however, that the current President didn’t come first in the initial round suggests he has a lot of work to do if he wants to serve a second term. In the past only one term was allowed, however, this was changed during Alvaro Uribe’s presidency and now the maximum number of terms allowed is two.
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