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Right poised to buck the trend in Colombia (Alvaro Uribe certain to be reelected)
Telegraph (UK) ^ | 26 May 2006 | Jeremy McDermott

Posted on 05/26/2006 7:04:47 PM PDT by Stultis

Right poised to buck the trend in Colombia
By Jeremy McDermott in Bogota
(Filed: 27/05/2006)

Colombia is set to buck the Left-ward trend in Latin America tomorrow with Right-wing president Alvaro Uribe likely to secure a second term.

Mr Uribe, 53, an Oxford-educated lawyer and yoga fanatic, changed the constitution to stand a second time and all the polls suggest he is far ahead of his rivals.

 
Alvaro Uribe
Alvaro Uribe has had an average of 60pc support in every poll

The key to his success is simple: Colombia is racked by a 43-year-old civil conflict, and Mr Uribe has made himself the champion of the fight against terrorism.

"I will never forget when terrorism placed a car bomb leaving so many victims," he shouted during his final rally in Bogota's central plaza, referring to a bomb in 2003 that killed 37 people in the capital's most exclusive social club. "That day I said that we cannot budge from the aim of a Colombia without terrorism."

Under Mr Uribe there has been a significant drop in the number of murders and kidnappings. Nobody wants to go back. "What other option do we have," said Adriana Fonseca, 28, the owner of a boutique. "I know he is authoritarian, and I know the war is not won as the government would have us believe. But I no longer fear being kidnapped off the street."

Throughout his administration, Mr Uribe has had an average of 60 per cent support in every poll, and is projected to win the elections in the first round with a similar margin.

Mr Uribe's closest rival and his former law professor, with around 25 per cent support, is Carlos Gaviria, better known as "Father Christmas", a jovial white-haired and bearded former judge. But nobody believes Mr Gaviria, 69, has a chance of winning.

The Left in Colombia, tarnished by association with the Marxist guerrillas, has never come close to winning power.

Colombia's importance for Washington has seldom been higher. Mr Uribe is the natural counterbalance to his Venezuelan neighbour, Hugo Chavez, who, flush with petrodollars, has set himself up as the leader of an anti-US bloc, attracting fervent support from Bolivia and Cuba.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: andeanregion; centralamerica; chavez; columbia; farc; latinamerica; narcoterrorism; uribe
Good article on Uribe at Bloomberg (not postable at FR):

Colombia's Uribe, the Un-Chavez, Battles Violence
http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000086&sid=a1.8Amma1m2I&refer=news_index

The Bloomberg piece makes the point with greater detail that Uribe's popularity is tied directly to his stalwart focus on security and anti-terrorism.

Unlike the unnuanced description of Uribe as a "right-wing president" in the Telegraph article, Bloomberg gives some insight into Uribe's refusal to be drawn into pointless ideological bickering. He won't lower himself to the level of Chavez's taunts, for instance. Uribe has also been consistent and non-partisan in fighting violence and advancing legality and security, for instance with programs to disarm the illegal anti-FARC militias (even though the FARC itself still refuses to negotiate with him).

1 posted on 05/26/2006 7:04:50 PM PDT by Stultis
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To: Stultis
Google news:

Colombia's president wins himself four more years
Scotsman, United Kingdom - 1 hour ago
But Alvaro Uribe, 53, an Oxford-educated lawyer and yoga fanatic, can have few fears that tomorrow he will secure another four years in the job. ...
Right poised to buck the trend in Colombia
Telegraph.co.uk, United Kingdom - 1 hour ago
Colombia is set to buck the Left-ward trend in Latin America tomorrow with Right-wing president Alvaro Uribe likely to secure a second term. ...
Confident Uribe heads to polls
BBC News, UK - 2 hours ago
... victories in the region. Four years ago President Alvaro Uribe won office promising to deliver greater security. His 30% lead in ...
All-Clear Given at Rayburn House Office Building
CNSNews.com, VA - 3 hours ago
... may be expanding rapidly, but apparently not in Colombia, where polls ahead of Sunday's presidential election show that incumbent Alvaro Uribe -- a strong ally ...
Uribe says he needs Venezuela
Malaysia Sun, Malaysia - 3 hours ago
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stressed Friday that his nation and Venezuela must continue to foster their bilateral relations despite their differences. ...
Colombia: Uribe says he needs Venezuela
Washington Times, DC - 3 hours ago
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stressed Friday that his nation and Venezuela must continue to foster their bilateral relations despite their differences. ...
Colombia: Uribe says he needs Venezuela
Washington Times, DC - 3 hours ago
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stressed Friday that his nation and Venezuela must continue to foster their bilateral relations despite their differences. ...
Colombia: Uribe says he needs Venezuela
DailyIndia.com, NY - 3 hours ago
BOGOTA, Colombia, May 26 (UPI) -- Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stressed Friday that his nation and Venezuela must continue to foster their bilateral ...
Columbia bucks trend to left by backing hardman
Times Online, UK - 4 hours ago
Álvaro Uribe, a hardline foe of leftist rebels who killed his father, could win 57 per cent of the vote tomorrow, polls suggest, enough to win in the first ...
Colombia: Uribe says he needs Venezuela
Political Gateway, FL - 4 hours ago
BOGOTA, Colombia, May 26 (UPI) -- Colombian President Alvaro Uribe stressed Friday that his nation and Venezuela must continue to foster their bilateral ...

2 posted on 05/26/2006 7:06:24 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
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