Colombia’s electoral authority will resume an impeachment referendum process against the mayor of Bogota after president Juan Manuel Santos was forced by a court to reinstate Gustavo Petro, reported Caracol Radio.
The impeachment referendum was halted two weeks ago after Santos, against the orders of the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights, signed off on the dismissal of Petro initially ordered by the country’s inspector general in December.
Following a court ordering the reinstating of the dismissed mayor on Wednesday, Santos was forced to revoke his decision and allow the leftist Petro back into Bogota’s mayoral palace.
The return of Petro may end of five months of bickering between district, national and international courts, but does not secure the definitive stay of Petro at all according to Caracol citing sources within the Registry.
Opponents of the mayor were only weeks away from an impeachment referendum when Santos intervened. On the same day Santos is forced to back down on the dismissal, the National Registry reportedly resumed the process to allow Bogota citizens to decide whether they want their mayor to finish his 2012-2016 term or whether they want early elections.
Ironically, chances for the referendum to effectively remove Petro from office have grown slim as Petro, less than a year ago one of Colombia’s most unpopular mayors, significantly gained support in the polls during the judicial debacle over his rule.
Additionally, five months of uncertainty over who governs Colombia’s capital — a city facing serious issues regarding mobility, public safety and increasing inequality — and the fact that the city had three mayors over the past four days, would add to the unlikeliness the referendum impeaches the suddenly-not-so-unpopular mayor.