A Colombian governor resigned after a court ruling sentenced him for having violated electoral regulations ahead of his 2011 election, local media reported Wednesday.
The governor of the department of Caldas, Guido Echeverri told press he is stepping down because he never received a response about his request to revise a decision of the State Council to annul his election.
“That led me to resign,” he said, adding that he wanted to prioritize the interests of his department over his own.
Echeverri, who had been elected for the period 2012-2015 was removed from his office in early May after the State Council ruled he had violated electoral regulations. This because his his wife occupied the position of housing secretary of the city of Manizales for two days, during the 12 months prior to the election of governors.
According to Colombian electoral law, election candidates and their immediate family may not hold any public office in the year before elections to avoid fraud.
The governor was initially allowed to remain in office until May 15, to give time for President Juan Manuel Santos to appoint an acting governor. Echeverri thus submitted a request for clarification from the State Council that allowed him to remain in office until May 28.
Echeverri said that he expected the request to be “treated with reasonable speed.” However, when more than 10 days after the request was filed nothing had been done, the governor decided to hand in his resignation.
The governor said he would remain in the office until next week. Santos will then have to choose an acting governor while electoral authorities organize interim elections.