Colombian President, Juan Manuel Santos, has confirmed that there will be elections to choose a new Bogotá mayor.
Speaking via his twitter account, the President said that he was waiting for the response of the Electoral Commission to begin analysing the trio of candidates from the Progressive party who would act as interim mayor. But he reiterated that ‘There will be elections in Bogotá. It is the law.’
For now, Santos has named Labour Minister, Rafael Pardo, as acting mayor while a new mayor is elected. The Progressive movement party have presented the President with three candidates: Antonio Navarro Wolff, María Mercedes Maldonado and Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo.
There was some confusion over which party the triumvirate of candidates should come from, as deposed mayor Petro was a candidate for the Progresistas before this group merged with the Partido Verde to create the Alianza Verde.
Wolff, a former leader of guerrilla group M-19, has also been health minister, mayor of Pasto, and governor of Nariño from 2008 to 2011. He was also the first secretary in the Government of deposed mayor Gustavo Petro in his first three months in office. He is now a senator.
Maldonado, current secretary of Habitát and ex-secretary of Urban Planning in the Petro administration, is a lawyer who lectures at both University National and University of the Andes. She has also been a consultant to the mayors of Bogotá and Popayán, the Minister of Environment, Freidrich Ebert of Colombia and the United Nations Foundation.
In the last few days she has strongly criticised Santos for failing to follow the recommendations of the Inter American Commission of Human Rights (CIDH) regarding Petro’s destitution.
Jaramillo, former secretary of health and government, renounced his post to devote his time to leading the campaign against the destitution of the mayor Petro.