‘Interim mayor of Bogota should belong to same party as Petro’: Lawsuit alleges

Posted on Apr 4 2014 - 9:37am by Rico
Rafael Pardo (President's Office)

A lawsuit filed in Colombia’s State Council Thursday demands an annulment of the presidential decree that appointed Bogota’s interim mayor, Rafael Pardo, reported national media.

The suit, filed by ex-Mayor Gustavo Petro, alleges that Petro’s replacement should have come from within the ranks of his political movement, rather than one loyal to President Juan Manuel Santos.

Specifically, “A representative of the Progressive Movement or the Green Alliance should be placed in charge,” reads the suit. The appointment of Rafael Pardo, a member of Santos’ coalition Liberal Party, was “illegal and unconstitutional,” it claimed.

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Petro had filed a court appeal less than a week ago to annul the decision of the Inspector General’s Office that ejected him from office and banned him from running for elected office for 15 years.

Gustavo Petro, Bogota’s former mayor, was removed from office in December 2013 due to alleged “irregularities” that were uncovered in his attempts to transfer the city’s privatized garbage collection system into public hands. This allegedly resulted in 9,920 tons of uncollected garbage left on the streets.

Less than two weeks ago, Colombia saw the conclusive sacking of former Bogota mayor Petro by the President Juan Manuel Santos himself, bringing a definitive end to months of speculation, but not the controversy.

The final decision followed months of legal and political battles, initiated by the announcement of Petro’s dismissal on December 9 last year by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez. The decision was supposedly made in response to the former mayor’s failed reform to the capital city’s waste collection service.

Petro has been replaced with an interim mayor, former Labor Minister Rafael Pardo.

The mayorship of Bogota is widely considered to be the second most important position in Colombian politics.


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