Race to represent the Centro Democrático party is between Iván Duque and Marta Lucía Ramírez
This summer, former Colombian president Álvaro Uribe surprised Colombia’s electorate when he announced that his Centro Democrático party had entered into an alliance with another former Colombian president, Andrés Pastrana. While the alliance was announced, the mechanisms of how it would work and which candidate would represent the party were left ambiguous.
With the country’s presidential election now only months away, the alliance seems to finally be taking shape. According to the El Colombiano newspaper, the alliance will be led by either conservative Marta Lucía Ramírez or Centro Democrático party candidate Iván Duque in the election. The party has until January 20th to announce a final decision.
Marta Lucía Ramírez is a political veteran who has twice run for Colombia’s presidency under the banner of the Conservative party. While popular with Colombia’s right, Ramírez has not been able to win over the country’s center, a constituency that will be key if she is to finish in the final two and proceed to the presidential run-off phase.
Duque, on the other hand, is a relative newcomer to the political scene. Duque has publicly expressed his opposition to the Havana Accords but has adopted more centrist social and economic policies in his platform.
Colombia’s center-right alliance was driven by poll numbers which showed the country’s left making serious inroads with the electorate. Former M-19 terrorist and ex-Bogotá mayor Gustavo Petro has consistently placed in the top three in presidential polling. Rodrigo Londoño, also known as Timchenko, is also running for president, representing the FARC, a former terrorist organization. Communist Piedad Córdoba announced her candidacy as well.