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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Hard-driving Colombian leads for 2d term

Staunch US ally goes against leftward trend

BOGOTÁ -- Intense and hard-driving, Colombian President Álvaro Uribe doesn't hesitate to call aides on their cellphones before dawn when a brainstorm hits him or on Sundays when he needs help answering a question at one of his town hall meetings.

His passionate, hands-on approach to leadership has helped him drastically improve security and jumpstart economic growth in this war-ravaged nation -- and has made him the frontrunner to win reelection tomorrow. It would be a rare victory of a staunchly pro-American candidate in Latin America after a string of wins by leftists.

Numerous polls predict a solid win for the diminutive, right-of-center politician who resembles a school principal in his tidy sweater vests and spectacles, yet is as fiery as any Latin strongman. But Uribe, the most popular Colombian president in memory, will face daunting expectations in a second four-year term. Read on.


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