Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Colombia: President Juan Manuel Santos Names Former Cabinet Member as Running Mate

According to The Latin American Tribune, President Juan Manuel Santos on Monday (February 24) named former cabinet member German Vargas Lleras, 52, as his running mate in his bid for a second four-year term.

Santos made the announcement with Vargas Lleras at his side during a speech to the Good Government Foundation in Bogotá.

The grandson of former President Carlos Lleras Restrepo served successively as interior minister and housing minister in the Santos Administration.

COMMENT: The president also hailed Vargas Lleras as having an “incredible capacity to execute,” pointing to the 69 bills his running mate shepherded through Congress as interior minister and his implementation of a program to provide free housing to the poor.

Vargas Lleras finished third in the 2010 presidential election, well behind Santos and Green Party hopeful Antanas Mockus.

The current vice president, Angelino Garzón, announced months ago that he would not seek re-election. He is to become Colombia’s next ambassador to Brazil.