Fico Gutierrez and the danger of "Uribe’s candidate"
As of Sunday night, Federico Fico Gutierrez is the most stable candidate for president in Colombia. While it's not the first time his name is on an electoral document - he was mayor and councilor of Medellin and his first attempt during a national vote which he won more than two million votes inside the Team for Colombia coalition, they place him as an ideal candidate for the conservative movements or those who are frightened by the thought of a leftist presidency. Fico (47-year old Fico) is the principal opponent of Gustavo Petro. The Historic Pact movement, as well as Gustavo Petro, was one the winners of the election last night which determined who will be the main political parties.
The presidential campaign is just starting. The way the former mayor from Medellin can combat petrismo, forge alliances and negotiate with foreign countries will determine the success of his campaign. He won't be expected to bring together all the right-wing forces under his leadership and also to take on a portion of the electorate at the center, which was deflated on Sunday without any extraordinary leadership. He will have to steer clear of, as he has so far, being in the same photograph with Alvaro Uribe. Today, for the first-time in the past 20 years, open support for uribism is now possible rather than subtract. "Federico Gutierrez faces a dilemma. He has to form an alliance, on Uribe's behalf and the Democratic Center. However, the challenge is convincing Uribe, the center that will have to decide its future direction." Yann basset, analyst at the University of Rosario.
Fico that is a coalition partner with the CD in which uribism is concentrated has made its first conquest in the process of forming an alliance. Oscar Ivan Zuluaga the former president-elect, chose to step down, recognized his limited options for competing with him and offer his support. We will now see if the whole Uribismo group who was without a spokesperson until Monday, offers its support. Uribe is seen clearly advocating for the cause, and trying to convince his voters that he is a supporter of the Colombian right. His remarks on "security" as well as "order", "opportunities", and "love the land" has already proved that he is a good addition to voters. Like he did during his stint in the Antioquia mayor's office and he confirmed this with the electoral consultation. In a recent trip to Arauca (an area that has been particularly affected by violence) Fico said "The bandits are in prison or are in graves." Fico knows what the Colombian rights are, but that won't be enough.
Basset stated the fact that "We're not in the years when the fear from the left was effective," and that the electorate is not influenced by fear this time around. Basset says that Fico could not receive Uribe's blessing due to the fact that Alvaro Uribe is not the supreme leader that the nation has seen since 2002, at the time Uribe was elected president. It doesn't mean Uribismo's opinions, even if they are not in the top tier, do not matter to Gutierrez. As was the case this Sunday, or in his attempt to gain access to Medellin's mayor's post, Uribe supported Gutierrez even when he was the presidential candidate for his party. Uribism was also instrumental in this win (winning within the coalition). https://twitter.com/ficogutierrez warnsthat "Now his ability as an negotiator in winning the coalition] will be judged in the ability to convince the right and not spend the entire time on this alliance." Andres Mejia vergnaud, analyst, comments on the relationship between Fico and former president. "The biggest problem for Federico Gutierrez, however, is that he would like Uribismo's vote, but without Uribe's photo since it isn't a good fit to be his choice."
Gustavo Petro (left) is the only leader. Gustavo Petro (right) remains the one who is who is preparing for the presidential election unless Fico (if he negotiates - is able to convince Fico to allow him to go and give him his backing. Rodolfo Hernandez is still in the race despite having launched his campaign independently. Gutierrez will have to include former Bucaramanga mayor, a millionaire and builder on his list of accomplishments in order to stop the petrismo.
Gutierrez has a lot of work to do before he even considers the names of his presidential formula. However, what Gutierrez has already is support from the other candidates for the leadership of the Team for Colombia alliance. This isn't a small sum. He is surrounded by two former mayors, Enrique Penalosa (Bogota) and Alex Char (Barranquilla); the leader of the Conservative party, David Barguil, and a woman named Aydee Lizarazo, of a Christian party, who normally votes judiciously as ordered at the lectern of his church.
In addition to the strengthened Conservative Party - it achieved the most votes of the right-wing forces for Congress with more than two million votes - it has the sympathy of the U Party, which also had an outstanding election in the legislature, winning less than a million votes. Oscar Ivan Zuluaga backed Fico. Zuluaga didn't have to wait until the results of Sunday's election to declare his defeat. Alvaro Uribe (ex-President) summoned his party for a meeting on Monday to find out if Fico is willing to risk his chance of gaining a seat in the center in exchange for being publicly granted a blessing by Uribe.