Monday, May 31, 2010

Mockus and the Green Fail

If you were following polls leading up to yesterday's Colombian presidential election, you're probably very surprised with the results that emerged today.

Juan Manuel Santos, who by most indications was running neck-and-neck with upstart former Bogotá mayor and Green Party candidate Antanas Mockus, took 46.6% of the vote. Mockus, meanwhile, won only 21.5%, far below the 32% he was polling at when the last poll was conducted by RCN/Semana a week ago.

Because Santos didn't win a full majority he still faces a second round with second-place Mockus, but some members of the Santos camp are calling for Mockus to drop out and save the cost of putting on what they call a futile effort to overcome Santos. As the argument goes, if Mockus drops out "20 schools can be built" with the money it would cost to support a second round.

I don't think budgets work that way, but it's a clever political move by the Uribista camp to pressure the famously civic-minded Mockus to throw in the towel.

Image Source: La Tribuna (Honduras)
Online Sources: NY Times, Colombia Reports, El Espectador

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