Colombia’s state council nullifies election of former Senate president

Senator Alexander Lopez (Image: Twitter)

Colombia’s State Council revoked the election of former Senate president Alexander Lopez, a major political ally of President Gustavo Petro.

According to the administrative court, the progressive politician violated electoral legislation by endorsing a politician of a different party ahead of the 2022 elections.

Lopez, a member of the socialist Democratic Pole party, supported the candidacy of an aspiring politician of the Green Alliance party in a video that was published on social media.

His election had been challenged by a conservative activist.

The video was in violation of so-called “dual membership” laws that seek to “strengthen political parties and movements as representatives of society, guaranteeing their coordinate actions and discipline,” according to the Council of State.

The Democratic Pole said that it was “surprised” by the decision as their branch in Lopez’s Santander province explicitly allowed members to endorse candidates as they saw fit.

Lopez is the third member of the coalition whose 2022 election was declared null and void because of their support of Petro’s “Historic Pact” coalition ahead of the elections.

In May, the State Council nullified the election of former Senator Roy Barreras because he failed to resign from the U Party two months before registering as a candidate for Petro’s Humane Colombia party.

In August, the administrative court nullified the election of former Senator Cesar Pachon for supporting a Historic Pact candidate of a different party.

Political opponents of Petro’s progressive coalition have also challenged the election of Senator Maria Jose Pizarro and David Racero.

Pizarro called on the presidents of the political parties that make up the Historic Pact coalition to form a single progressive party to “defend the progressive project.”

According to Democratic Pole, “the enemies of Change want to stop transformation through any means.”

Members of Petro’s coalition previously accused Inspector General Margarita Cabello of trying to suspend elected officials without court approval.

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