The 2011 election of the suspended, but popular governor of Colombia’s Pacific department of Choco was nullified Monday.
The country’s State Council nullified the election of Luis Gilberto Murillo over a 1997 criminal conviction that should have impeded the politician from running for office.
Murillo was suspended in July last year when the State Council decided to accept the charges and investigate the legality of his election
MORE: Choco Governor Suspended
Murillo was convicted because he misappropriated money allocated for a sanitation project to build in a school when he was head of the Choco Sustainable Development Corporation in 1994.
According to weekly Semana, allies of the former governor have said that the National Electoral Council had already rejected the demand as the crime for which the now-suspended governor was convicted was scrapped from the penal code in 2000.
Murillo enjoyed extraordinary popularity among Chocoanos while in office. According to a poll held weeks before his suspension, the governor had the approval of 85% of his department’s population.
The former Choco governor is not the only departmental head in trouble with the law; eight of Colombia’s 32 governors are under investigation and risk being dismissed.
MORE: 1 In 4 Colombia Governors Under Investigation