04-07-19 Latin American Weekly Report
Mercosur seals EU trade deal but political trials lie ahead
There was added spice to Colombia’s congressional elections on 9 March as they marked the return of former president Alvaro Uribe (2002-2010) to frontline politics. Uribe won more votes than any other candidate running for a senate seat and his fledgling party outperformed established tradi- tional parties to finish second only to the Partido de la U (PU). Crucially, however, the tripartite ruling coalition behind President Juan Manuel Santos retained a decisive majority, albeit reduced, in the lower chamber and a commanding presence in the senate. A future peace deal with the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (Farc), the motivating factor behind Santos’ re-election bid on 25 May, cannot now be derailed by congress as left-wing parties will provide Santos with a majority in the senate when it comes to approving associated legislation.
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