Humberto de la Calle, the former Colombian government negotiator during the peace process with the FARC rebels in Havana, says he wants to stand in next year’s presidential election.
Peace Process Hits Obstacles as Elections near in Colombia
“I feel trained to lead the country on a path of peace, of dialogue, to move it forwards,” said the state official.
De La Calle did not reject the idea of an independent candidacy but affirmed that he “obviously” wished for the support of the governing party.
“I have been a member of the Liberal Party, sometimes with a critical stance, but I also practice the liberal philosophy, what we have to defend in Colombia is pluralism, tolerance, I am committed to this message,” he added.
He also expressed his intention to create “a large coalition in order to win in the first round.”
Fifteen other politicians, including the current Vice President German Vargas Lleras, say they would also like to run for office.
Well-known leftist figures including Gustavo Petro, Bogota’s former mayor, and Piedad Cordoba, an Afro-Colombian human rights activist, have announced their decision to stand.
But they have not confirmed if they will cooperate with the FARC’s new party.
Members of the former guerilla group are scheduled to hold their Congress on August 27.
They are expected to announce their party on September 1 as they make the transition into a political entity.