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Federico Fico Gutierrez has been the most reliable president-elect of the Colombian since the night of Sunday. Although it is not the first time that his name appears on an electoral card – in fact, he was mayor and councilor of Medellin and his first attempt during a national vote, where he achieved more than two million votes inside the Team for Colombia coalition, they place him as an ideal candidate for conservative parties or those who feel scared when they think of an open-minded presidency. Fico (47-year-old Fico), as he’s referred to, is the main opponent of Gustavo Petro. He was as part of the Historic Pact, one of three candidates in the race that determined who would represent the three most powerful political forces.
The presidential election is just getting underway. The way the former mayor from Medellin is able to combat petrismo, forge alliances and negotiate with foreign countries will determine the success of his campaign. He will not only need to bring all right-wingers under his banner, but must also conquer some of the center’s electorate which has been, as of Sunday, demoralized and lacking leadership. He must avoid the situation he has been in so thus far, appearing in the same photograph alongside Alvaro Uribe. Today, for the first-time in 20 years, open support for uribism is now possible instead of subtract. “Federico Gutierrez faces a dilemma. He’ll need to create an alliance to the Democratic Center (CD), Uribe’s party. But he also has to convince the center that it is the one to decide where it goes,” Yann Basset from the University of Rosario, analyst and professor.
In the process of forming joining forces with the CD which is where uribism is the most prevalent issue on Monday, Fico has already won its first victory. Oscar Ivan Zuluaga who was an aspirant to the presidency, stepped aside to acknowledge his few opportunities of competing with him. Now we will see if the entire Uribismo group – that is without a representative elected follows suit. Uribe could be seen openly in support of the cause and trying to convince his voters that he’s in favor of the Colombian right. He already proved that he can increase votes by his remarks on “security”,” “order”, and “love for the country of his fathers”. This Sunday, he verified it at the electoral consultation. He did this before while in Antioquia as the city’s mayor. While on a recent trip to Arauca (an region which has been particularly impacted by violence) He said “The bandits are in prison or are in graves.” Fico knows what the Colombian right likes however it won’t be enough for Fico.
Basset says that we are not in the year 2018 when fear of a Left was effective. “This time, the electorate does not feel fear.” According to the analyst, the fact that the image of Alvaro Uribe is not the leader with absolute power that the country had seen in 2002, when Uribe was elected president for the first time. Also, that his own party that is the CD, is going through a rough patch, could make Fico avoid receiving or even openly Uribe’s blessing. This does not mean that Uribismo’s votes, even if they are not in the top tier, do not matter to Gutierrez. In the case this Sunday, or when he tried to get into Medellin’s Mayor’s Office, Uribe supported Gutierrez even though he was the candidate for the party. Uribism is also responsible for the victory in the coalition. Basset warns “Now his skill as a negotiator [winning in the coalition] will be assessed in the ability to convince the right and not spend the entire time on this alliance.” Andres Mesjia Vergnaud, an analyst, remarks on Fico’s relationship with the former president: “The great difficulty of Federico Gutierrez’s desire to win the votes of Uribismo without the image of Uribe, because it doesn’t fit him to be his presidential candidate.”
Gustavo Petro is left-leaning, and Gustavo Petro is right-leaning. However, Fico – if he can reach a compromise to convince Gustavo Petro to support him. Rodolfo who was an independent candidate, is still in contention. The former mayor of Bucaramanga who is a builder and millionaire, who has succeeded in positioning himself well in the polls due to his anti-corruption stance in a light-hearted language, is a man that Gutierrez must add to his list of accomplishments should he decide to put up the battle to petrismo.
Gutierrez has plenty to discuss before even considering names for his possible presidential strategy however, what he has is the support of the other candidates competing for leadership in the Team for Colombia coalition. It’s not all that. He is surrounded by two former mayors, Enrique Penalosa (Bogota) and Alex Char (Barranquilla); the leader of the Conservative party, David Barguil, and one woman, Aydee Lizarazo, of a Christian party, who normally is a judicious voter, as directed from the lectern of his church.
The Conservative Party was strengthened, and won the biggest right-wing vote of more than 2 million votes. http://www.elespectador.com/politica/elecciones-colombia-2022/oscar-ivan-zuluaga-adhiere-a-fico-gutierrez-para-unir-a-la-derecha-contra-petro/ has the support of the U Party. twitter.com/ficogutierrez had an outstanding legislative vote with more than 1 million votes. Oscar Ivan Zuluaga was there to stand with Fico. He did not leave Sunday’s elections without taking the time to play down his defeat and keep out of a battle for votes with those on the left. This is a way to give Fico an edge in a specific area of conservatism. But it also prevents him from possible votes from the centre. The words of former President Alvaro Uribe says, who called his party to a meeting on Tuesday, will be the definitive factor to determine whether Fico takes a risk for a moderate position by being the blessing of Uribe.