The coronavirus crisis has brought, among many other things, the attempt at a political reconfiguration in Colombia. On the one hand, the mayors and governors, headed by the current mayor of Bogotá, Claudia López, began to lead the fight against Covid-19: isolation drills, aid for the most vulnerable, payment of public services, among other measures. . The national government was late in managing the crisis, but quickly put together a whole strategy, which included presidential addresses every day at six in the afternoon, measures of economic packages and a strong control of information on how the virus is progressing in the country.
Everything indicates that President Duque is trying to improve the image and build the horizon of his government with the coronavirus crisis. Before, he had tried with the orange economy, security and the fight against corruption, but in all he failed. The main complaint from specialists and analysts is that the government of President Duque had not managed to build a clear horizon. Now, with the crisis, he is trying. The question is why the government does this. The answer is simple: it has no other way out.
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Currently, the image of approval of President Duque is at 24 points, and since the beginning of his Government has not stopped falling, he only had a breather in February 2019 with the famous diplomatic siege on Venezuela, a strategy that has also not given concrete results. This means that after 20 months there was never a honeymoon with citizens. Now, the Covid-19 will leave as a immediate legacy a crisis situation for the Colombian economy, which will be seen from the second half of 2020 and will last throughout 2021. Thus, if the Government does not raise its image and create a horizon now, no longer open a point of return, what follows is to manage the economic crisis.
In any case, this aspiration of the Duque Government collides with the aspiration of mayors and governors. Many of them also see a golden opportunity to consolidate their leadership. They have taken initiatives long before the Executive, they have proposed social aid to the most disadvantaged, forcing the national Government to give legal support to these measures and, in general, there have been few times when they have collided. A situation of uncoordination has not been reached as in the United States, but the clashes are permanent.
All this political strategy has been involved in two other great realities. On the one hand, a national legislature absent, only until a few hours ago, the possibility of virtual operation of the congress was approved, but the truth is that in all this debate it has been absent. They hardly appear on the networks, commenting on radio programs, and coordination between members of the same party is quite low. The other reality is an impressive fear of Colombian society. A fear that is not only the fear of the virus, it is also the fear of the weak Colombian health system and the fear of how to survive in socioeconomic terms. Millions of people in Colombia live from the informal economy, shutting themselves away from home, for many, is literally starving.
The questions that remain to be resolved are at least four: 1. How deep will the economic crisis be? 2. Who or who will be better evaluated in crisis management and who will be the least qualified? 3. How long will the health emergency last? 4. For the May 2022 elections, how will the country arrive in economic terms?
The future of the government coalition, of the opposition parties and in general of the political map that consolidates in 2022 will depend on these four questions. Perhaps, in general terms, the dispute remains left-right, but the players could change .
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