Candidate Profile: Ivan Duque
Despite the constant media urge to paint Ivan Duque as a puppet of former president Alvaro Uribe Velez, the presidential candidate for Centro Democratico has doubled down on the doctrine of Uribismo, claiming that he shall be faithful to his mentor’s vision for Colombia.
Born into political pedigree, Ivan Duque was handpicked to lead the party after being chosen in a series of polls designed by Uribe himself. Duque has held no elected political office prior to this and any attempt to win the affections of the working class public may be an uphill struggle given his background. Even if he does appeal to his love of football team America de Cali and Led Zeppelin. Despite this, some claim his lack of governing experience and name recognition can be a boon in modern day Colombia. His economic prowess–he has written 3 books on the subject– and judgments on tax reforms are also a calming fact for many in his camp.
A lawyer by trade, the bogotano Duque studied in the US and worked there too for a decade at the Inter American Development Bank. His earliest experience in government came about when he advised Juan Manuel Santos, who was Finance Minister at the time.
Following that he also played a small role on a panel formed at the UN by Ban-Ki Moon which investigated the sinking of a flotilla by Israeli forces that had been intended for the Gaza strip and contained vital humanitarian aid.
Shrewd, economically astute and entitled, Duque’s progress in the polls indicate how divided Colombia remains on the true legacy of Uribe. Many who are wary about the accuracy of polls know that the only numbers that matter are the ones that anoint the new President. For Uribistas, they’ll be hoping that their man Duque’s number comes up.