Friday, November 22, 2013

Colombia: Santos Announces That He Will Run for Relection as President

According to The Latin American Tribune, President Juan Manuel Santos announced Wednesday (November 22) that he will seek reelection in the 2014 elections.

Santos justified his decision to seek reelection to a second four-year term by saying he feels that during his administration, which began on August 7, 2010, the country has achieved important successes in matters such as the peace talks with the FARC guerrillas and reducing poverty and unemployment, and argued that those policies should have continuity.

COMMENT: Santos will register his candidacy with Colombian election authorities on November 25, a date selected because the law establishes that a head of state who aspires to reelection must announce that fact six months before the elections, which are scheduled for May 25, 2014.

Although President Santos devoted a significant portion of his reelection speech to the progress made in peace talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which has engaged in combat with the government since 1964, to date the rebels have made no concessions to the Santos government. 

In actuality, the smaller National Liberation Army (ELN) has been much more responsive to the Colombian government than has the FARC, which seemingly has made few concessions to date.

As with most heads of state, President Santos is much more interested in retaining power and the trappings of the presidency than in securing a lasting peace with the FARC.