Medellin court rejects ex-mayor’s demands for re-election

The high court of Antioquia on Friday unanimously rejected demands from a former Medellin mayor that the city annul the results of its most recent election.

Luis Perez Gutierrez, mayor of Medellin from 2001 to 2004, demanded a re-do of the October 2011 elections, in which he suffered a close defeat to current mayor Anibal Gaviria. Perez alleged that the former mayor, Alonso Salazar, used his position in public office to illegally influence the results in favor of Gaviria.

Salazar was barred from public office for 12 years this past February for violating the Law of Electoral Guarantees, which prohibits candidates from using public funds in upcoming elections. Prosecutors alleged that the former mayor had directly and indirectly influenced the elections, including a particularly damning episode in which he alleged that illegal criminal organizations supported Luis Perez’s election.

However, the court declared that the time period allotted for any demands against the October 2011 election had already expired. According to Colombian law, such a request must be made within 20 days of the candidate taking office.

“It is feasible that the court evaded such a debate, because that implies dictating justice and therefore it took the easy route and rejected the demand,” said a spokesperson of Perez.

This decision has been passed onto the State Council which is set to review the ruling soon.

From Colombia Reports

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