Colombia’s Registrar Ariel Sanchez says he will investigate a meeting between presidential candidate Juan Manuel Santos and the chairman of the workers union of the Registrar’s office.
The Registrar’s office is responsible for carrying out the collecting and counting of votes in Sunday’s presidential elections.
Sanchez, talking to Caracol Radio’s Hora 20, expressed concern that the meeting between the “Uribista” candidate and union president Daniel Bohorquez did not take place in the office of the Registrar, but in a Bogota restaurant. “This is very worrying,” Sanchez said.
Hours before the controversial meeting took place, the Registrar had sent out a message to all employees reminding them they must remain impartial during the electoral process.
Liberal Party presidential candidate Rafael Pardo, criticized the meeting commenting that “it is quite unusual that a presidential candidate, just before the elections, takes the time to meet with the president of the Registrar workers union, given the fact that the Registrar today reported that there are electoral mafias seeking to commit fraud. These mafia members are officials of the Registrar’s office.”
Santos’ campaign team admitted the presidential candidate and the union leader had had lunch together, but said the meeting was to “express the necessity of a commitment from the entity’s workers that the voting next Sunday and the following steps of the electoral process be taken as efficiently as possible and with absolute transparency.”