Colombia’s Supreme Court Monday reiterated its refusal to elect a new Prosecutor General from the presidential shortlist. The court considers its task to elect a PG from the three candidates “unfeasable.”
After previously considering itself unable to refuse the candidates, the Court returned the shortlist to President Alvaro Uribe earlier this month, because it considers none of the candidates qualified enough to serve as head of the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The three candidates are controversial as none of them have experience in penal law and one is suspected of attempting to bribe colleagues while being part of the country’s State Council.
Despite criticism from NGOs and the Supreme Court’s resistance, the government so far refused to change candidates on the shortlist, claiming it had fulfilled its duty by proposing three worthy candidates. On Sunday, Uribe repeated he will not change a name on the list.
Following Uribe’s refusal to amend the list, magistrates of the court met on Monday to reconsider the candidates. After a five-hour meeting, 14 of the 22 magistrates voted the election of any of the current candidates “unfeasable.” The Court will now await the government’s reaction.
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and the Supreme Court have clashed regularly as the Court has opened dozens of investigations into politicians with ties to paramilitary warlords and is investigating high government officials for bribery. Uribe has accused the court of bias and ties to the mafia.
The previous Prosecutor general, Mario Iguaran, left office almost two months ago. Assistant Prosecutor General Guillermo Mendoza temporarily assumed Iguaran’s responsibilities, but says he will also leave on October 1.