The chairman of Colombian socialist party Polo Democratico, Clara Lopez, was added to the shortlist of candidate Bogota mayors Monday after one of the candidates withdrew over her ties to suspended mayor Samuel Moreno.
The Bogota-born Harvard graduate initially refused to be a candidate, but gave in after the withdrawal of the capital’s Economic Development Secretary, Mariela Barragan.
“I am thankful to my party for this new honor granted by appointing me as replacement of Mariela Barragan on the shortlist, an example of party loyalty and responsibility for the city,” newspaper El Espectador quoted Lopez.
The Polo Democratico leader and latest Bogota mayor candidate said the decision to join the shortlist was difficult for personal reasons. If President Juan Manuel Santos chooses her to be the capital’s mayor until the October election, her husband, council member Carlos Romero, would have to resign.
According to Colombian law, a suspended mayor is replaced by a member of the same political party chosen by the President of the Republic. During this process, the president appoints an acting mayor, which in this case is Education Minister Maria Fernanda Campo.
Samuel Moreno, elected mayor in 2007, was suspended early this month over his alleged role in a major corruption scandal in which public officials enriched themselves through the granting of public works to a befriended construction company.