At least 12 candidates in October’s local elections who had their party endorsements withdrawn have got back on the ballots after collecting the required number of petition signatures in record time.
According to El Tiempo, the candidates were removed from party lists after background checks revealed connections to paramilitary groups, drug traffickers or electoral fraud.
In the less than two months since they were removed, some have collected over a hundred thousand signatures petitioning for their candidacy and giving them another chance to stand. Most of the candidates have also already passed a Registry review of their candidacies and will be able to stand in the elections.
Under the terms of electoral reforms passed earlier in July this year, parties face severe political and financial sanctions for fielding candidates with criminal backgrounds or links to armed groups.
However, candidates can still run as independents if they collect the required number of signatures. The number of signatures depends on the size of their voting district, but there is a maximum of 50,000 signatures per candidate.