The politician clarified his position, telling L.A. FM, “On my first day of administration, in my speech to the council, I said there were three types of relationship between Government and Council: the first is the nepotistic relationship, giving each councilor hundreds of positions [to be distributed to allies]. This is a criminal relationship. The second; not having any relationship between council and government, is the way followed by [popular former Bogota Mayor Antanas] Mockus. The third proposal for me; a modern transparent democratic relationship between parties and coalition government.”
Petro said that if council members would not accept his proposals for participation, he would be forced to take up the method deployed by Mockus during his time as Mayor of Bogota, as he refused to defer to the nepotistic system.
In comparing himself to Mockus, Petro is evoking the image of a fellow independent candidate, giving context to his determination for effective government.
Mockus, who unsuccessfully challenged for the presidency in 2010, served two terms as mayor of the capital, during which he willingly used the power of decree. He was a popular leader, remembered for overseeing dramatic reductions in crime and initiatives to make the city safer and more environmentally friendly.
Petro has so far struggled to evoke such a positive image, given his past as a member of defunct guerrilla movement M-19, including an 18-month stint in prison for weapons possession.