Colombia’s State Council rejected a lawsuit that would have kept ex-President Alvaro Uribe from assuming his newly elected position in the Colombian Senate, in a decision announced Friday.
An independent lawyer had brought the case against Uribe shortly after the successful conclusion of the former president’s Senate campaign this March, claiming that ongoing legal proceedings looking into Uribe’s past undermine his ability to participate in elected politics.
There are currently 286 cases against Uribe being considered by the Prosecution and Investigation Commission of the House of Representatives on matters ranging from the ex-president’s role in the widespread illegal wiretapping that occurred during his administration to his alleged ties to paramilitary elements, a subject the Prosecutor General’s Office is also investigating.
Given the severity and number of the crimes he stands accused of, argued the suit, Uribe’s election “violated the law and collective interest of administrative morality.”
The State Council, however, found that the available evidence was not strong enough to annul Uribe’s election atop the Democratic Center (Centro Democratico) party closed-ballot ticket, which collected over two-million votes in March’s congressional elections.
“According to the documents received from the competent authorities and analyzing the new evidentiary material along with the accusation, there is no indispensable administrative act to proceed with the electoral nullification,” read the decision, according to the El Espectador newspaper.
In the absence of any conviction, ruled the council, there is no justification to bar Uribe from rejoining the Senate, after previously having served prior to his election as president in 2002.
Despite a noted drop in his once almost unanimous appeal, Uribe maintains broad popularity among voters. His aggressive stance toward the FARC rebel group, which killed his father and had made significant inroads into Colombia’s urban centers at the time Uribe took office, has spawned numerous claims of human rights violations and other illegal acts.
The former president has kept to his hardline approach, running a campaign based largely on his staunch opposition to ongoing peace talks between the Colombian government and FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group.
- Consejo de Estado rechazó demanda contra elección de Álvaro Uribe como Senador (El Espectador)
- Demandad ante el Consejo de Estado Alvaro Uribe como senador (El Espectador)