House Representative Miguel Gomez of the coalition U Party officially registered his request for a referendum in Colombia’s capital aimed at impeaching the socialist Petro who has faced fierce criticism in his first year in office.
According to Gomez, the Bogota mayor must leave office because “we are facing an incompetent government that threatens to destroy Bogota. So if Gustavo Petro continues to govern for another three years, what kind of city are we leaving for our children.”
Gomez’ impeachment process failed to receive the blessing of any political party, including his own.
In Bogota’s city council the initiative also received no support, despite harsh opposition to Petro’s government.
Gomez’ told newspaper El Espectador that the lack of political support works in favor of his initiative.
“The fact that it won’t be supported by any political party makes the initiative entirely civilian. I don’t know if the parties are afraid of the people but the explosion of support messages I have received on social media is overwhelming,” said Gomez.
To successfully impeach the elected mayor, Gomez’ campaign must first obtain almost 300,000 signatures supporting a referendum. If this is achieved, a referendum will be called in which 1.2 million bogotanos must vote in favor of impeachment.
Petro, a former guerrilla and opposition senator, took office on January 1 last year after winning the 2011 mayoral election with 735 thousand votes. Since assuming Colombia’s second most important public office after the presidency, Petro has been criticised over ongoing problems with poor transport infrastructure and his plans to municipalize the city’s trash collecting system.