Party of National Social Unity Outpolls Green Party in Colombia’s Presidential Election

With 86% of the vote counted, the presidential candidate of Colombia’s Party of National Social Unity is far outpacing the presidential candidate of the Green Party. Juan Manuel Santos has 46.5%, and the Green Party’s nominee, Antanas Mockus, has 21.7%.

The Party of National Social Unity was formed in 2006. If no one gets 50%, there will be a run-off on June 20.


Party of National Social Unity Outpolls Green Party in Colombia’s Presidential Election — 15 Comments

  1. So up until 2002, every Colombian president had been a member of either the Liberal Party or the Conservative Party.

    There was a military dictator in the 1950s, General Gustavo Rojas Pinilla, who tried to establish a new populist party, the National Popular Alliance. The Liberals and Conservatives ganged up on him and had him overthrown though. Later, he should have won elections in 1970 but the two parties again conspired to have the poll rigged. Almost everyone accepts that as fact now.

    Anyway, things stay pretty calm until 2002.

    Incumbent Conservative president Andres Pastrana (who’s dad was the president who “beat” General Rojas in 1970) is super unpopular with his parties base because he tried to negotiate with the FARC and the negotiations fail. The Conservatives try to nominate independent candidate Noemí Sanín but she refuses. They decide not to nominate a candidate at all.

    Alvaro Uribe is a hawkish member of the Liberal Party who agrees more with members of the Conservative Party. Running as an independent he was able to get almost all of the Conservative voters and a lot of the Liberal voters (the Liberals had nominated a super corrupt guy) thus becoming Colombia’s first independent president.

    He ran for re-election in 2006. The Conservatives again didn’t bother to run a candidate and the Liberals again nominated the same super corrupt guy. The Liberals ended up coming in third behind a new left-wing party called the Alternative Democratic Pole which is made up of General Roja’s National Popular Alliance and a former Communist rebel group called the April 19th Movement who put down their arms.

    During Uribe’s second term, his supporters founded a new party called the Social National Unity Party, everyone calls it the Party of the U (U for Uribe) though. This party is supported by a lot of former Conservatives but most of its leaders are former Liberals. Santos is one of those former Liberals.

    This time both the Liberals and Conservatives are running their own candidates though. The Conservatives have finally convinced former independent Noemí Sanín to be their candidate and the Liberals have nominated a non-corrupt guy. They’re both good candidates but people are just tired of the old parties.

    The Green Party is new but Antanas Mockus has run before. He was mayor of Bogota and when current Conservative candidate Noemí Sanín ran for president as an independent in 1998, Mockus was her running mate. He also ran for president in 2006 as the candidate of a party representing indigenous people but that time he only won 2%.

    Lastly, I will say that although Mockus is to the left of Santos, American Greens probably wouldn’t like him. He’s a centrist, not a leftist. That fact is clearly demonstrated by him being the running mate of the right-winger Sanin in 1998.

    Make sense?

  2. If there is a runoff, will it still be between the Greens and National Social Unity? The Greens still may have a chance, though it doesn’t look good.

  3. What ???

    Another top 2 system ???

    Are the party hacks complaining about such system ???

    NONPARTISAN App.V. for executive/judicial offices.

    NO runoffs needed.

  4. Colombia does not have a top-two system like California’s Prop. 14. In Colombia, the first round is an election. If someone gets 50% that person is elected. Under Prop. 14 no one can be elected in the first round, even if only one person is running. The second big difference is that in Colombia, as well as in France, all the candidates in each round are nominees of their party. The third big difference is that Colombia has its run-off only 2.5 weeks after the earlier election. Also in France there are only 2 weeks between. In California it is 5 months. So minor party and independent candidates can’t campaign during the summer and fall.

  5. IIRC, polls were showing the race a lot closer than that even up to quite recently . . . has anyone heard reports or claims of shady dealing in the counts, by any chance?

  6. There is substantial coverage at Green Party Watch. While I know little of Mockus, I don’t think it’s accurate to describe the US Green Party as “leftist”. While many of my fellow Greens would prefer to see the Greens move towards a more traditional leftist position, I really do believe that the Green Party does represent a ‘third way”, and as Petra Kelly would say, “We’re neither left nor right. We’re out in front.”

    One of the things that differentiates Mockus and Greens around the globe is a dedication to solutions. If there are more human and environmental needs being met through government action, fine. If private action does a better job, equally fine. If cooperative but non-governmental action proves best, all the better.

    John Anthony…Mockus’ Facebook page is filled with comments from supporters who are suggesting fraud. I simply don’t know. The dramatic differences between polling data and the election result is not comforting. I also point out at Green Party Watch (click my name) that press reports indicated that a “normal” Presidential election in Colombia brings out about 40% of the voters, and this election was expected to bring out closer to 50%. Indeed, election day reports showed a strong voter turn out, but once votes were counted, fewer than a third of voters were reported to have voted. What happened there? I cannot say.

  7. “Petra Kelly would say, “We’re neither left nor right. We’re out in front.”

    That’s not true. She may have said it, but it’s a phrase coined by neo-fascists previous to that.

    If the US GP is a centrist party, why not just be Democrats? Does the US really need another centrist party?

    The US Green Party is a failed experiment. It would be to the advantage of the people of the US, and the global environment, if they were less cooptaionists, and help create a red/green alliance like in the rest of the world. The GP world wide has become increasingly the vehicle of conservative conservationists.

  8. Deran, I did not say the Green Party is centrist. I was trying to said that words like left and right are less meaningful when applied to the Green Party. Key values like personal and global responsibility, decentralization and non-violence put us outside those catch phrases. I stand by my statement that Greens are working towards solutions that work to make our key values real.

    As to a “Red Green Alliance”…with whom should the Green Party form this alliance? If the Green Party is a failed experiment in the US, please show me a successful experiment of a “red” party in the US today.

    I’m not trying to be a smart ass, I just think you’re wrong in your analysis.

  9. Dear Gregg Jocoy (Comment #10 above):

    You raised a very good question and your implication, I believe, is correct: I do not think that there is such a thing as a “successful experiment of a ‘red’ party in the US today.”

    I am not certain if any group of people has done a thorough analysis of why that is the case. It is possible that the Socialist Workers Party has done this but that Party has become so difficult to communicate with these days that that would hardly count. If there is a good analysis available, I would love to read it.

  10. There hasn’t been a successful red party in the United States.

    There hasn’t been a successful Green Party either.

  11. bolshevik-leninist wrote: There hasn’t been a successful Green Party either.

    That depends on what you call successful. I specifically wrote “please show me a successful experiment of a “red” party in the US today.”

    I would consider the Socialist Party of the 1920s and later, perhaps earlier, to have been successful.

    The Green Party has close to 200 elected officials across the nation. These include City Council in Boston, County Council in Colorado, Mayors in California and New York, all the way down to Public Service District Commission here in South Carolina.

    We ran a former member of the US House of Representatives for President in the last election cycle. We have secured and use ballot status in close to half the nation.

    For me, at this point in my life and the nation’s history, I consider that success. Your mileage may vary.

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