President Juan Manuel Santos denied accusations that his administration is intentionally delaying the process of choosing a new Bogota mayor, according to a Wednesday presidential press release.
Santos said that the government has not made maneuvers to slow the process of electing a city leader from the political party of former mayor Samuel Moreno, the Polo Democratico, after he was removed from office on corruption charges. He added that they will interview the last shortlist candidate, Clara Lopez Obregon, by Thursday.
“It has not been — as some have said — a deliberate process of delaying a decision,” said the president, adding that the State Council supported the declaration that certain candidates placed on the Polo Democratico’s shortlist were inappropriate choices for mayor.
“In regards to the rest, we have made the corresponding proceedings. We are going, for sure, to respect that which the State Council has told us, that there has to be a shortlist from the Polo Democratico,” said Santos.
Regarding his administration’s temporary choice of replacement, Education Minister Maria Fernanda Campo, Santos added, “I think that Bogota residents have seen that this step for the city government has been an important step, showing transparency, showing forcefulness, showing clarity, good governance, as it should be.”
The Polo Democratico alleged earlier in the month that Santos’ administration was attempting to delay the process by declaring candidates placed on the party’s shortlist “possibly unfit,” and also alleged that standing mayor Campo is unfit for the position because she is not a member of Moreno’s party.