Thursday, January 29, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

According to the Medellín daily, El Colombiano, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, has decided not to not pursue a third term in office (Uribe no buscará su tercer período en el 2010.

Without engaging in a direct translation, what the story states is that Uribe has apparently decided not to seek a third term, an action that would require a constitutional amendment, a process that is currently caught up in the congress.

Uribe has been coy about this topic, sometimes sounding like someone who doesn’t want a third term, but frequently sending the opposite signal. As such, one might initially wish to take this story with a grain of salt. However, there is a very interesting tidbit in the story, which is that the Conservative Party (PC) has decided on a process to select their 2010 candidate. This is important, because if Uribe were to run in 2010, the PC would have endorsed him, as they did in 2006. The fact that they have decided to move to think about their own candidate in 2010 means that they believe that there is no third term coming.

A fascinating element here, too, is how the various pro-Uribe parties respond. Do they forge an alliance to present a unified front for a single candidate, or do they go about fighting one another to capture Uribe’s legacy? Uribe never formed his own party (despite what the press often reports) and so his lack of acumen/interest in the area of political organization mean that there is some degree of uncertainty as to how the party system will evolve from this point. If, btw, the PC can field a candidate it will be the first time that the party has run its own candidate since Rodrigo Caicedo in 1990. In 1994 and 1998 Andrés Pastrana (who won in 1998) ran a pluripartisan/almost independent candidacy and in 2002 the PC candidate withdrew before the campaign even got going. The party then formally endorsed Uribe in 2006.

For those who read Spanish, here’s a key passage:

EL COLOMBIANO está en capacidad de afirmar que el Primer Mandatario ya tomó la decisión de dar un paso al costado para que nuevos líderes asuman el poder, y dejó en manos de la coalición uribista la responsabilidad de elegir un candidato de unidad que recoja las políticas de seguridad democrática, confianza inversionista y cohesión social, pilares de este Gobierno.

Y en eso, el Partido Conservador acaba de dar el primer paso. Ayer decidió abrir inscripciones para realizar una consulta interna en la que elegirá a su candidato a las elecciones presidenciales.

Es que los continuos mensajes que el Jefe de Estado ha enviado en ese sentido, ya calaron entre los partidos de la coalición que ya se hacen a la idea de que no habrá Uribe en 2010, pese al silencio oficial sobre el tema.

Los hechos de ayer reafirman ese cambio de actitud de los escuderos del Presidente. La decisión conservadora de no esperar más una candidatura de Uribe y la propuesta de los partidos minoritarios de la coalición uribista (Convergencia Ciudadana, Alas Equipo Colombia, Colombia Democrática y Colombia Viva) de promover una consulta intrapartidista para elegir candidato único, son síntomas claros de que no habrá tercer período, por lo menos en 2010.

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One Response to “No Third Term for Uribe”

  1. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Classic Uribe Says:

    [...] is on the heels of a report in El Colombiano that a third term (which would require a still hypothetical constitutional [...]

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