The presidential advisor on Bogota, Gina Parody, assured Petro that he has the national government’s support. On Twitter she announced that “the Government is willing to help the mayor…[Mayor Petro] should concentrate on the needs of the city, rather than defending himself from impeachment.”
Parody also made assurances that the national government would continue to assist Petro’s administration with security and poverty issues.
According to local media, Parody said “We [the national government] are here with open arms.”
The comments come after Congressman Miguel Gomez Martinez filed an application on Thursday to revoke Petro’s mandate to govern. According to Colombia’s constitution, Gomez must collect almost 300,000 signatures, half the number that voted for Petro in the 2011 mayoral elections, before a public referendum can be held . If Gomez crosses this hurdle and the question of impeachment is put to a popular vote, at least 55% of those who voted in the 2011 Mayoral elections, approximately 617,000 people, must vote in favor.
The process to impeach an elected official via this mechanism has been attempted 37 times prior without ever being successful.
While Mayor Petro has faced widespread criticism since coming to power, the move by Gomez to impeach him has failed to draw any political support, even from Gomez’s own party. However, this has not deterred the congressman, who claims that this merely demonstrates the democratic impetus driving the impeachment intiative.