Jueves, 8 de diciembre de 2016

| 2010/05/31 00:00

Colombia sticks with Santos

May 31st--Buoyed by the party machine and rural voters, a win for Juan Manuel Santos means an uphill battle for Antanas Mockus

Colombia sticks with Santos

The pro-government candidate, Juan Manuel Santos, made an unexpectedly strong showing in Colombia's presidential elections at the weekend, putting him in a strong position for the second-round elections and dampening hopes that Colombia might see its first Green party president. With 95% of the votes counted, former defence minister Santos won 47%, compared with 21% for the Green party candidate Antanas Mockus, an inspiring maverick, who had caught the imagination of not only Colombians, but many people abroad. The pre-election polls had put the two candidates neck-and-neck.

The rural vote, the strength of the traditional party machines and fear of voting for the unknown are the most likely explanations of the results. Mockus, a former mayor of Bogotá, had energised young people in the cities, but there was always a danger that the countryside, where poor rural voters are more susceptible to the sort of pork-barrel politics that Mockus campaigned against, would be more conservative. While Mockus urged his supporters to shout at rallies "we weren't paid to be here", other parties offered hungry voters in rural villages free lunches.
 
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