Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office has asked for the State Council to overturn their week-old ruling that restored political rights to Medellin‘s former mayor, who had previously been banned from political office for 12 years due to election tampering.
Former Medellin Mayor Alonso Salazar thought he could rest easy last Thursday when one of Colombia’s high courts reversed a three year old ruling that banned Salazar from serving public office for 12 years.
But legal disputes between the country’s Inspector General’s Office (IGO) and public officials are often not so simple.
The IGO submitted a request to the State Council late Wednesday asking that the decision to return Salazar’s political rights be nullified because the court does not have the “authority” to dismiss such sanctions, according to local media.
The debate between the court and the administrative office that has killed many politicians’ careers in the past will center around whether the 12-year ban represents a “warning” that will appear on his CV, or an actual “criminal record,” reported El Tiempo newspaper. This distinction will determine the State Council’s authority in this case, according to the IGO.
Medellin’s former mayor, Alonso Salazar, was barred from holding public office in 2011 for allegedly manipulating local elections. According to local media Salazar released slanderous pictures and statements to the press, resulting in dismissal and a 12 year suspension from public office, imposed by the Prosecutor General’s Office.
The State Council then overturned the decision and restored Salazar’s political rights, just three years into the sanction. The decision came last Thursday after Salazar filed for an annulment of the sanction in December 2013, which came before the court in February.
Mayors have not seen great luck with taking on the Inspector General’s Office recently, as now former Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro lost a five month battle for his own ability to participate in politics and keep his position. The IGO succeeded before the courts and President Juan Manuel Santos himself, in dismissing Petro.