Reports out of Colombia following yesterday’s legislative elections indicate that, as was expected, conservative coalition parties aligned with President Álvaro Uribe will likely maintain their majorities in both houses of congress. The voting was largely free of violence, leading one official to declare: “these are the most peaceful elections we have had on our national territory in the last 25 years.”
Other observers, however, contend that widespread vote-buying allegations, voter intimidation tactics, tainted candidates, and voter confusion cast a dark shadow on the Colombian electoral process. Turnout was also low, with only about 40 percent of registered voters showing up to cast ballots.
The results of Sunday’s elections were being closely watched by many analysts who believe they will serve as an early predictor of how Colombians will vote in the upcoming May 30 presidential elections. As of mid-day Monday, 94 percent of votes have been counted for senate races. Full results for lower-chamber races are not expected until mid-week.