Post-Uribe Colombia

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe, whose plans for a third term were dashed in March by the Constitutional Court, retains considerable influence. But, while Uribe is counting on his dauphin, former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, to unite right-wing forces ahead of May's election, thereby ensuring continuity with his policies, most Colombians want change.

BUENOS AIRES – Colombia’s presidential election at the end of May will be unique in many ways. Álvaro Uribe’s plans for a third term were dashed in March by the Constitutional Court, which, despite massive pressure, upheld the constitutional prohibition on serving more than two consecutive terms. Uribe’s absence has opened the election in unforeseen ways.

Although Uribe is now technically a “lame duck” president, he does retain considerable influence, and is trying hard to keep the issue of internal security – the central focus of his presidency – at the heart of the electoral battle. He has also sought to benefit from ratcheting up tensions with neighboring Venezuela, and counts on his dauphin, former Defense Minister Juan Manuel Santos, to unite the country’s right-wing forces in order to ensure continuity with his policies.

But Colombia does not seem to want continuity at any price; instead it now appears to favor moderate revision of what Uribe has built over the past decade. This renovation comes in a form that is unusual in contemporary Colombian history. The alliance between presidential candidate Antanas Mockus and vice-presidential candidate Sergio Fajardo offers the possibility of a real break, because neither man comes from the currently weakened traditional liberal-conservative political milieu. Instead, each comes from the world of academia (both hold doctorates in mathematics).

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.

required

Log in

http://prosyn.org/WhWAbQm;
  1. Television sets showing a news report on Xi Jinping's speech Anthony Wallace/Getty Images

    Empowering China’s New Miracle Workers

    China’s success in the next five years will depend largely on how well the government manages the tensions underlying its complex agenda. In particular, China’s leaders will need to balance a muscular Communist Party, setting standards and protecting the public interest, with an empowered market, driving the economy into the future.

  2. United States Supreme Court Hisham Ibrahim/Getty Images

    The Sovereignty that Really Matters

    The preference of some countries to isolate themselves within their borders is anachronistic and self-defeating, but it would be a serious mistake for others, fearing contagion, to respond by imposing strict isolation. Even in states that have succumbed to reductionist discourses, much of the population has not.

  3.  The price of Euro and US dollars Daniel Leal Olivas/Getty Images

    Resurrecting Creditor Adjustment

    When the Bretton Woods Agreement was hashed out in 1944, it was agreed that countries with current-account deficits should be able to limit temporarily purchases of goods from countries running surpluses. In the ensuing 73 years, the so-called "scarce-currency clause" has been largely forgotten; but it may be time to bring it back.

  4. Leaders of the Russian Revolution in Red Square Keystone France/Getty Images

    Trump’s Republican Collaborators

    Republican leaders have a choice: they can either continue to collaborate with President Donald Trump, thereby courting disaster, or they can renounce him, finally putting their country’s democracy ahead of loyalty to their party tribe. They are hardly the first politicians to face such a decision.

  5. Angela Merkel, Theresa May and Emmanuel Macron John Thys/Getty Images

    How Money Could Unblock the Brexit Talks

    With talks on the UK's withdrawal from the EU stalled, negotiators should shift to the temporary “transition” Prime Minister Theresa May officially requested last month. Above all, the negotiators should focus immediately on the British budget contributions that will be required to make an orderly transition possible.

  6. Ksenia Sobchak Mladlen Antonov/Getty Images

    Is Vladimir Putin Losing His Grip?

    In recent decades, as President Vladimir Putin has entrenched his authority, Russia has seemed to be moving backward socially and economically. But while the Kremlin knows that it must reverse this trajectory, genuine reform would be incompatible with the kleptocratic character of Putin’s regime.

  7. Right-wing parties hold conference Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

    Rage Against the Elites

    • With the advantage of hindsight, four recent books bring to bear diverse perspectives on the West’s current populist moment. 
    • Taken together, they help us to understand what that moment is and how it arrived, while reminding us that history is contingent, not inevitable


    Global Bookmark

    Distinguished thinkers review the world’s most important new books on politics, economics, and international affairs.

  8. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Bill Clark/Getty Images

    Don’t Bank on Bankruptcy for Banks

    As a part of their efforts to roll back the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, congressional Republicans have approved a measure that would have courts, rather than regulators, oversee megabank bankruptcies. It is now up to the Trump administration to decide if it wants to set the stage for a repeat of the Lehman Brothers collapse in 2008.