Campaign groups say they have collected more than enough signatures to move to the next phase of recall proceedings against Bogotá mayor, Enrique Peñalosa.
On May 2, the group Unidos Revocamos a Peñalosa delivered boxes containing what they claim were over 660,000 signatures – almost three times the 271,817 needed – to the city’s central registry.
They are one of four groups who filed petitions in January to initiate the reform process, complaining about the mayor’s management of a number of issues, from privatisation plans to the metro.
According to new procedures set out in 2015, signatures totalling 30% of the votes originally cast for the mayor are required in order to trigger a recall election. Each signature now needs to be verified by the National Electoral Council (CNE) who are responsible for regulating the proceedings.
However, the CNE have announced that they are calling a public hearing to discuss possible changes to the recall process. There are currently about 100 such cases against mayors and governors taking place across the country.
Anti-Peñalosa campaigners were swift to react, calling for supporters to take to the streets. Prior to a march on May 9, Unidos Revocamos a Peñalosa wrote in a Facebook post: “Today we are defending democracy and demanding that the CNE respect our signatures.”
Officially, the CNE has 30 working days to review and verify the signatures. But it is unclear what will happen if the rules are changed part way through the process.