Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala on Monday (7 August) took the oath of office as Colombia's new President for a four-year term.
Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala on Monday (7 August) took the oath of office as Colombia's new President for a four-year term. He succeeds fellow Liberal Party member Alfonso Lopez Michelsen. Senor Turbay Ayala is the first Colombian President to be elected outside the terms of power-sharing pact between the two major parties, Liberal and Conservative, which ended a civil war in Colombia 20 years ago.
SYNOPSIS: President Turbay Ayala...wearing the sash...won the election by a margin of only 100,000 votes and although he had pledged to end the coalition which has been in force since the civil war observers feel he may continue with the country's power-sharing arrangement. When the election results were announced on Sunday (6 August) supporters of the narrowly-defeated Conservative candidate, Senor Belisario Betancur, took to the streets to protest at the results.
President Turbay Ayala was sworn in before a full session of the 231 member Congress. His audience also included diplomats and visiting representatives from 35 countries. They included the leaders of Bolivia, Ecuador, panama and Venezuela. During his address President turbay Ayala said his Government would crack down on smuggling and drug trafficking. He added that this would be easier if Colombia received financial assistance from the United States in the same way as the traffickers did from dealers and users in that country.
President Turbay Ayala takes over from Senor Lopez Michelsen at a time when Colombia is beset with the problems of inflation, declining law and order and widespread administrative corruption - problems which observers in Bogota say are unlikely to change quickly under the new leader.