Party chairman Juan Lozano has been accused of using his position to peddle influence for the position of removed Casanare governor Oscar Florez. Under the Colombian political system, when a politician is removed from office the chairman of his political party drafts a short list of replacement candidates. The president then selects a candidate from that list to serve as a replacement. Lozano is accused of abusing his position in drafting such a short list, including his wife’s current assistant for the short list to replace Florez.
Lozano could face steep penalties if the court rules against him. A conviction could result in a permanent ban for life from political office.
Lozano denied the charges against him and insisted that he has always acted in accordance with the law and that as chairman he has worked to remove corruption from politics. “You can be certain that all of my activities as chairman of the Partido de la U and as a senator have been oriented against corruption, paramilitarism, and criminality in politics,” said Lozano.