Former Minister Sabas Pretelt de la Vega on Thursday resigned as Colombia’s ambassador to Rome following his indictment over the alleged bribery of congressmen to support the 2006 re-election of President Alvaro Uribe.
Pretelt is accused of having offered bribes to several congressmen in 2004 in order to gain the support of a majority in Congress for constitutional change to allow the president to stand for a second term. The vote was passed and Uribe was allowed to run for president, winning the 2006 elections in the first round with more than 50% of the votes.
Former congress members Yidis Medina and Teodolindo Avendaño were both convicted for accepting the bribes, but Pretelt de la Vega and current Health Minister Diego Palacio, both accused of having offered these bribes, so far have not been officially indicted.
In a separate investigation, Colombia’s Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez ruled there was no merit in invetigating the alleged bribery, which resulted in himself being investigated for corruption by the Supreme Court.