Colombia’s Inspector General’s Office suspended Valle del Cauca governor Juan Carlos Abadia for illegally supporting the candidacy of former agriculture minister Andres Felipe Arias in the Conservative Party primaries.
According to the Colombian constitution, nobody of the executive branch of government is allowed to interfere in elections. No president, governor or mayor is allowed to openly support or oppose a candidate of any type of election.
Abadia openly supported Arias by organizing a meeting of mayors of his department where he allowed Arias to promote his candidacy. The Conservative later lost the primaries to current candidate Noemi Sanin.
Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez ruled that “Abadia was not allowed to organize or allow rallies … abusing his power, he put Andres Felipe Arias on a stage to conduct a rally.”
Because of this, Abadia is not allowed to hold any public office in the next ten years, meaning the department will have to organize premature elections to find a new governor.
The office of Abadia is under investigation for several absue-of-power charges. One of the governor’s secretaries openly campaigned for the PIN party which is presided by Abadia’s father and accused of having numerous links with drug lords and politicians who were convicted for ties to paramilitary organization AUC.