Colombia’s inspector general said Friday she opened a disciplinary investigation into the national registrar over major irregularities in the March congressional elections.
Inspector General Margarita Cabello announced the disciplinary investigation after lawmakers and electoral observers demanded the resignation of National Registrar Alexander Vega.
The investigation seeks to determine whether the registrar may have incurred in disciplinary offenses related to alleged selection and contracting irregularities, and a possible failure to fulfill his duty in the control of voting and the training of jurors.
Inspector General Margarita Cabello
Vega has denied any wrongdoing and has suggested that many of the 700,000 jurors ignored instructions or committed fraud.
According to the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), the chaos has destroyed public confidence in the electoral authorities.
This could trigger a crisis after May 29 when presidential elections are held, MOE director Alejandro Barrios told media this week.
What went wrong in the elections?
- Some 800,000 people weren’t able to vote become the National Registry’s database failed to register their entries or new addresses.
- Voters were unable to verify the location of polling stations because the system went down on election day
- Opposition party “Historic Pact” found that 500,000 Senate votes were left out of the preliminary election results
- Jurors have complained that their training was deficient and they received no food or water on election day
- The election results in the National Registry database do not correspond to the results reported by jurors in polling stations
Cabello’s investigation comes a week after the State Council resumed a long-stalled investigation into the allegedly corrupt election of Vega in 2019.
Anti-corruption advocated had challenged this election, claiming that Vega failed to meet the requirements for the job.
The registrar was summoned to appear before Congress earlier this week to explain the chaos, but refused.