The newly appointed mayor of Bogota announced on Monday, hours after her appointment, that she expects a short stay in office due to likely elections to choose a democratically elected successor to dismissed mayor Gustavo Petro.
Maria Mercedes Maldonado, a close ally of the dismissed mayor, was appointed by President Juan Manuel Santos from a list submitted by the political movement of Gustavo Petro, the former mayor of Bogota, who was ousted in March.
It could be very short
The acting mayor served as housing secretary in the cabinet of Petro up until his removal and on Monday said that she considers it a possibility that Petro returns to office.
|“We are awaiting court decisions in the Council of State which may favor the mayor Petro, who could return. It is the best thing that could happen to Bogota”|
“This assignment must be taken very quietly, it could be very short. I am someone who has been on the inside and know the operations, the programs and the Development Plan,” Maldonado told RCN Radio.
“We are awaiting court decisions in the Council of State which may favor [former] Mayor Petro, who could return. It is the best thing that could happen to Bogota,” the new mayor said.
Santos will decide when to hold elections for the post of Bogota mayor when he returns from a ceremony to the late Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
Furthermore, according to Semana magazine, Santos has said that he would respect a court decision to reinstate Gustavo Petro to the position of mayor, the second highest elected office in the country.
Transport and Security
Maldonado insisted that she would work in cooperation with the national government and said that her first task would be to establish contact with the labor minister.
She confirmed Monday in a press conference that key themes of her period in office would be, “transport and the theme of security.”
Recent statements by key figures such as the former Secretary of Government, Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo, and President Santos, have implied that Maldonado will ensure continuity with some of Petro’s key policies such as the Bogota Humana program, in which she was deeply involved.
“She knows perfectly everything that the office of Petro was doing, which means that she will continue with the programs of Dr. Petro,” said Jaramillo.
Similarly, Santos said, “she knows the policies of the city and is a very well prepared person.”