Colombia’s Election Council sanctions political parties in 2019 regional elections
Four political parties won’t be able to run candidates in the 2019 regional elections, according to sanctions announced by Colombia’s National Election Council earlier this week. The sanctioned parties include Juan Manuel Santos’ Partido de la U, Opción Ciudadana, the Liberal Party and the Conservative Party. This penalties will be limited to specific cities, including Bogotá.
The sanctions were announced after investigators discovered that, in the country’s 2015 elections, the sanctioned parties ran candidates that were previously disqualified. Specifically, Opción Ciudadana registered 112 disqualified candidates, Partido de la U ran 105 candidates, the Conservative Party 60 candidates, and the Liberal Party, 49.
“These parties are suspended from their right to run candidates in the next local election cycle”, a statement from the council read.
Until recent years, Colombia was governed principally by the country’s conservative and liberal parties. The Party of the U took power in 2010 under ex-president Álvaro Uribe’s leadership, and president Juan Manuel Santos continued to run under the party banner. With these sanctions, three of the country’s strongest parties will be ineligible to compete in regional elections across most of the country.