Colombian town votes ‘none of the above,’ forcing new election

Mayoral elections in the northwest Colombian town of Bello, bordering Medellin, will have to be repeated after the majority of voters cast a “none of the above” vote, rejecting the only candidate.

The candidate, German Antonio Londoño Roldan, received 37.19% of the votes, but was beaten by the 56.7% of voters who said “no” to his candidacy.

According to Colombian electoral law, elections must be held again if more than 50% of the votes go to “none of the above.”

Londoño Roldan became the sole candidate after the candidacy of Luz Imelda Ochoa, leading a local poll ahead of the elections, was revoked and the Liberal Party and the controversial MIO Party, founded by jailed ex-Senator Juan Carlos Martinez, withdrew their candidacies to support the then-only candidate.

The “none of the above” vote was promoted by civilian organizations and all political parties but the three supporting Londoño Roldan.

The conservative Londoño Roldan is controversial, because he is backed by former Senator Oscar Suarez Mira, who is in prison for ties to a paramilitary organization. According to newspaper El Tiempo, the failed mayoral candidate visited the jailed senator in prison on ten occasions

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