On paper the regional elections were a resounding success for President Santos. His coalition won the majority of the 32 gubernatorial contests, 1,102 mayoralties, as well as departmental deputies and councillors. The right- wing opposition Centro Democrático (CD) of his principal political rival, Senator and former president Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010), failed to make a big splash on its regional electoral debut, and the left-wing Polo Democrático Alternativo (PDA) fared even worse, its poor performance compounded by the loss of its stronghold in Bogotá. But no sooner had the dust settled on the elections than tensions broke out among the three parties making up the ruling coalition. The concern for Santos is that, unless they are reconciled, the three parties could hold up the approval of key legislative initiatives in the coming months and years.

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