Monday, June 07, 2010

Columbia Elections Update

News is trickling out concerning the runoff in Columbia between status quo candidate Juan Manuel Santos and Green Party candidate, former Bogota Mayor and unapologetic progressive Antanas Mockus. Mockus is behind in questionable polls (they're all questionable) and some say he has trouble expressing himself, touts "unpopular" policies like taxes, and stumbled on security issues.

Even if he loses (and mainstream media says he probably will), Mockus has already done something very special for Latin American politics:
even if Mockus does not embody all the hopes and aspirations of environmentalists or indigenous peoples, this political maverick has inspired nascent green parties across South America. Even if he does not win the second round and goes down in defeat to Santos, Mockus will have demonstrated that parties like his may have a political future in a region hardly known for its adherence to green principles.
Both the Greens and their opponents, Partido de la U, have approached third-place finisher Gustavo Petro in hopes of forming an alliance with Petro's Polo Democratico party, and he has rejected them both.

The Polo Democratico leader reiterated that his team will not support either Mockus or Santos in Colombia's second round presidential election, which means his party will advise followers to either abstain from voting, or turn in a blank vote.

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