Former president Alvaro Uribe said Tuesday that he is “the president of Colombia and senator.”
The political patron of President Ivan Duque made the controversial claim in an interview with Blu Radio, which is run by the president’s brother in law.
Uribe’s claim adds to ongoing doubts about the effective authority of Duque, who critics have called “Uribe’s puppet” since before he became president in August last year.
During the campaign, Duque referred to his political patron as Colombia’s “eternal president.”
After taking office, Duque has mockingly been called “underpresident” by critics.
The president came under severe criticism in December when Uribe published a draft presidential decree to loosen a gun ban on his Twitter account before it had effectively been issued by Duque.
Uribe made his presidential claim after the Supreme Court reiterated that the high court is investigating him for his alleged tampering of witnesses who have testified he formed a death squad in the 1990s when he was governor of the Antioquia province.
The investigation is only one of at least two dozen criminal investigations against Uribe over alleged crimes committed when he was governor and senator.
The investigations include his allegedly illegal role in the formation of paramilitary organization AUC, which was later designated a foreign terrorist group by the United States, two massacres and the killing of three human rights defenders.
Congress is supposedly investigating crimes committed as president, but its Accusations Committee is notoriously ineffective.