During the national convention of the Democratic Center this Saturday, which was summoned to proclaim Óscar Iván Zuluaga as its presidential candidate for 2022, the chief and founder, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, announced what could be considered his retirement from politics.
“The moment of my life, at this age with irreversibly white hair but with a love for Colombia that does not fade in the face of difficulties, I want to tell you that today the personal interest of politics in my own being is gone, but it increases my interest in Colombian democracy, ”said the former senator and former president in his short speech from his farm in Rionegro, Antioquia, before the convention.
He also indicated that, from his perspective, Óscar Iván Zuluaga, with his “great preparation and career”, is the best candidate for the party to compete next year.
In his words, Uribe also highlighted the achievements of the government of President Iván Duque, and even had a letter from the party read which highlights the achievements that the current government has had in different aspects.
The CD convention was held in Bogotá with decentralized meetings, and was attended by three of the former candidates: Alirio Barrera, Paloma Valencia and Rafael Nieto.
However, Senator María Fernanda Cabal was not present, who has been upset by the recent results of the party’s poll that left her out of the presidential candidacy against her strongest rival, Zuluaga.
In fact, and at the request of Cabal, prior to the start of the convention, the result of the survey that was carried out to choose the candidate was revealed. According to the figures revealed, Óscar Iván Zuluaga won with 43%, María Fernanda Cabal followed with 22% and in the last places were Paloma Valencia (13%), Alirio Barrera (12%) and Rafael Nieto (11%).
The official candidate of the Democratic Center spoke
For his part, the candidate Zuluaga thanked the party for its support, for this, his second nomination, as presidential candidate, after in 2014 he was the official candidate of the CD.
“Seven years ago, in a convention like this one, I proposed to Colombians ‘Una Colombia Distinta’, with policies focused on education, employment, opportunities and peace without impunity. In reducing poverty and inequality through economic growth, deepening the legacy of what we did in the government of President Uribe ”, he highlighted.
Faced with the Duque government, he pointed out his progress, although he made some comments on aspects that he did not share, “I am not saying that this is a perfect government; in the end no one is perfect. I would have done some things differently. But we must recognize that an extraordinary effort was made not to fall as deeply as many of us feared and as has happened with many countries in the region ”.
Faced with his presidential aspiration, he indicated: “I return with more experience, more humility, more scars, more strength and more determination. I am not the candidate who knows the most, but I am the one who has learned the most. In these years away from public service, I have dedicated myself to creating jobs and traveling the country. “
He also indicated that “we have a huge challenge ahead: to reconnect and earn the trust of Colombians. That is why I have launched the ‘I am all ears’ tour, because Colombians deserve to be heard. I ask you, my fellow party members, to accompany me so that we can go out and listen to our compatriots. “
Finally, the convention authorized Zuluaga to participate in coalitions that are defined by inter-party consultations, opening the door for him to continue in the candidacy representing the Democratic Center or joining other movements.