A member of Colombia’s House of Representatives has called on the National Electoral Council (CNE) to investigate the campaign accounts of the country’s leading presidential candidate.
Guillermo Rivera Flores, a representative for the southwestern state of Putumayo, has urged the CNE to investigate whether there were any irregularities in the campaign funding of Oscar Ivan Zuluaga, the candidate who won the first round of Colombia’s presidential election.
“We are calling on the National Electoral Council to investigate the amount of money that was used by the campaign of Oscar Ivan Zuluaga,” El Espectador newspaper quoted Flores as saying on Wednesday.
In an article titled “Duda razonable” on the website of a well-known Colombian journalist, Daniel Coronell, it is alleged that a consultant for the Zuluaga campaign, Duda Mendonca, was paid $2 million for the campaign, and was promised $2 million more if Zuluaga won.
It is not clear who allegedly made the payments.
If the allegations are true, says Flores, it would violate the spending caps placed on Colombian presidential campaigns.
“There should be a investigation to establish where there were campaign spending violations before the elections,” Flores told El Espectador.
The hard-line candidate for Colombia’s Democratic Center party has three preliminary criminal investigations pending against him, the country’s Prosecutor General’s Office (PGO) told Colombia Reports following the May 25 presidential elections.
In an emailed response to weeks-old questions regarding a past investigation over Zuluaga’s alleged ties to a paramilitary group, the PGO told Colombia Reports that this investigation was archived in 2008 already.
However, Colombia’s highest prosecution office spontaneously told this website that the presidential candidate does have three other criminal investigations pending, all of which are in a preliminary phase.
According to the PG’s Office, Zuluaga is investigated for the following accusations:
- Granting government contracts for personal gain
- “Crimes against public administration”
In its response, the judicial authority did not explain the origin of the preliminary investigations.
- Piden investigar cuentas y topes de campaña de Óscar Iván Zuluaga (El Espectador)
- Duda razonable (Journalist Daniel Coronell’s Website)