Radical Change

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Radical Change
Cambio Radical
President Germán Vargas Lleras
Founded 1998 (1998)
Headquarters Bogotá, Colombia
Ideology Liberal conservatism
Economic liberalism
Political position Center-right
to Right-wing
Colors          Red, blue
Seats in the House of Representatives
16 / 166
Seats in the Senate
9 / 102
1 / 32

Radical Change (Spanish: Cambio Radical) is a political party in Colombia.

After the elections on 12 March 2006, the party became one of the most important in the new congress, receiving 20 seats in the lower house and 15 in the upper house. Along with the Social Party of National Unity, or "Party of the U" (the biggest party in the lower house and the second biggest in the upper house) and the Conservative Party, it was president Álvaro Uribe's main ally in congress and formed part of his absolute majority.

The party is regularly spattered by criminals cases or concerning facts of corruption.[1]



After the tenure of president Ernesto Samper (1994-1998), a fraction of the Liberal Party was not happy with the new Social democratic route the party was moving towards. As such, a more right-wing faction of the party split and formed Radical Change. It, however, did not run for either parliamentary or presidential elections during the 1990s.

Uribe Government[edit]

In the 2002 elections, the party won 2 seats on the Senate and 7 in the chamber of representatives. The party joined a coalition with the government of Álvaro Uribe. The party voted in favor of the re-electionist project, which involved changing sections of the constitution which prevent a president from running for a second term.

2006 was their best electoral year. They became the 4th largest political group in congress with 15 senators and 18 representatives, they remained in coalition with the Uribe administration and supported his candidacy for re-election. German Vargas Lleras, then leader of the party and senator, became one of the most active voices in the senate.


Things turned sour for the coalition when the biggest party in congress (And Uribe's new Social Party of National Unity|U Party) proposed to change the constitution, yet again, to allow the president to run for a third term. The party was divided between those who wanted a second direct re-election for a third term and those who were against it. Vargas Lleras was amongst those opposed.

Although a third term was deemed unconstitutional by the supreme court, the damage was already done and those who still supported Uribe quit the party to run for congress in the 2010 parliamentary elections with the newly-formed U party.

In 2010, the party suffered big blows, losing votes and members in both chambers of congress (they lost 7 senators and 2 representatives). Vargas Lleras then ran as the party candidate in the 2010 presidential election finishing in third place in the first round. The party then joined the first round winner, Juan Manuel Santos, along with the Liberal Party and the Conservative party to form the "National Unity Pact" that would work together for the next 4 years.

National Unity Pact[edit]

The party remained true to their word and assisted the government with most of their agenda in congress.

When the peace talks with the FARC guerrilla began, the party offered their approval and criticized now ex-President Álvaro Uribe for opposing dialogue.

In 2014, the party participated in the parliamentary elections and joined in a coalition with Juan Manuel Santos for his reelection. Vargas Lleras was named the vice-presidential candidate. Although the party received fewer votes than in 2010, they regained one senator but lost one seat in the chamber. Santos won the second round of the presidential elections that year making the vice-presidential position the highest the party had ever achieved.


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