BOGOTA – The evangelical MIRA party swung on Thursday its support behind Colombian presidential candidate Ivan Duque, with the conservative Democratic Center party, in the hope that he can win the May 27 election in the first round.
“We’re hoping, with MIRA’s firm, frank, sincere and faithful support ... a decision adopted in complete unity ... that we’ll have (Duque) as president in the first round,” party president Carlos Alberto Baena said at a political gathering.
Baena said that the party had agreed upon “the issues” they will push during the campaign, such as “religious freedom.”
The party also agreed to such things as “the promotion of legality,” entrepreneurship, private initiative and the creation of wealth, which Baena said are “linked with religious values.”
“Religion is linked across the board and is made up of a flow of communicating vessels with Dr. Ivan Duque’s government plan,” Baena said.
Baena, who is also an evangelist pastor, said that within the agreement reached by the party is “everything related to the protection of children and women in the face of violence.”
“These are Christian values, they come from religion, they connect with the campaign propositions of Dr. Ivan Duque,” he emphasized.
Duque, with the party headed by conservative former President Alvaro Uribe, is the favorite in all the voter surveys although none of them is forecasting that he will win in the first round.
After Baena’s announcement, Duque said that if he wins the election, he will push for life in prison “for rapists and murders of children in Colombia.”
He hailed the broadening of his coalition with the adherence of MIRA, saying that the party “has been characterized by its discipline and rigor in parliamentary work.”
Meanwhile, Duque’s running mate, Marta Lucia Ramirez, said that what unites the two political groups are “principles, values and convictions.”
“Many reforms need to be made and in Congress (the support of) MIRA is going to be very important,” she said.
MIRA managed to garner three Senate seats and one lower house seat in the March 11 legislative elections.