Former presidential candidate and Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) hostage Ingrid Betancourt Sunday announced she will run to succeed Iván Duque as head of state under her own political party (Verde Oxígeno) after breaking up with the Centro Esperanza coalition.
Betancourt, who spent six years in captivity before being rescued by the Army, will take on Historic Pact (left) and Team for Colombia (right). She said she made her decision because other leaders in the coalition did not have a clear stance against corruption.
In a video posted on Twitter, Betancourt announced she was withdrawing her support to the coalition of which she had been a part for a year, and that she will stand independently for the 2022 presidential elections at the head of her own party, Verde Oxígeno after signs of support from other Centro Esperanza leaders failed to arrive.
Betancourt was particularly angry at Senator Germán Varón (Radical Change, a right-wing party allied with the government), who said he would endorse former Health Minister Alejandro Gaviria.
In Betancourt's opinion, in the case of Gaviria, the coalition lowered its guard and caused a rupture that had been taking place since its lists were formed weeks ago with the presence of politicians suspected of corruption.
Colombia has to maintain the hope that we are going to defeat corruption, it is an issue on which we have to insist, she stressed.
Betancourt said that with her departure from the alliance she became a ”candidate totally free and “committed” to restoring dignity to the country.
The presidential elections will be held May 29. The three most serious contenders are the leftwing Historical Pact whose most visible candidate is Senator Gustavo Petro; rightwing Team for Colombia, and Centro Esperanza.
The three parties will hold primary elections March 13, simultaneously with the parliamentary elections.
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