The most peaceful elections in years, elections for Congress in Colombia on the 14th of March, as even United Nations said. True, the FARC didn’t destroy bridges or energy towers, but in the meantime complaints about cheating and buying votes were numerous (more than 300 at the end of the day, Caracol Radio said). The political party PIN, hereditary of the parapoliticians, has become the fourth party in Congess, before Cambio Radical and the Polo Democrático Alternativo. The only positive thing is that the new Partido Verde (Green Party, conformed by the three former mayors of Bogotá Antanas Mockus, Luis Eduardo Garzón and Enrique Peñalosa) won four seats, apparently without buying one vote, a special phenomenon in this country.
Several candidates have complained about irregularities in the counting of votes and the handing over of the voting forms. The supervisors didn’t know the rules. That is a serious matter in such important elections. After it was clear that president Álvaro Uribe couldn’t run for a third term, the electoral panorama got really exciting. Chances for all the candidates increased and the hope for fresh winds grew.
But the elections have been polluted by the many complaints on the buying of votes and the peculiar behaviour of the Registraduría, the State’s institution that organizes the elections.
It is sad that a couple of obscure PIN-politicians got a seat while serious candidates like former FARC hostages Luis Eladio Pérez, Clara Rojas or journalist Felipe Zuleta didn’t get enough votes. In this way the new Congress is as affected by the parapolitics-virus as the old one.
It looks as if buying votes as well would be the only solution to solve this problem. What a shame for a country which boasts to be one of the oldest democracies on the continent. “A feast of democracy”, Colombia’s radiostations cried out when the voting day started. It was a tragi-comedy.
Tags: Antanas Mockus, Cambio Radical, Caracol Radio, Clara Rojas, Colombia, elections, Enrique Peñalosa, FARC, Felipe Zuleta, Luis Eduardo Garzón, Luis Eladio Pérez, parapolitics, Partido Verde, PIN, Polo Democrático Alternativo, Registraduría, The Morningside Post, United Nations, Uribe