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  • President Ivan Duque (left) at the Feria Vive Popayán, March 11

    President Ivan Duque (left) at the Feria Vive Popayán, March 11 | Photo: Twitter/@cuestion_p

Published 20 March 2020
Opinion

President Ivan Duque also faces harsh criticism for his poor management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Congress' Investigation Chamber Thursday presented the first inquiry document of the accusation process against Colombia's President Ivan Duque due to vote-buying accusations.

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This ​​​​​​​act officially initiates the preliminary investigation against him after former congresswoman Aida Merlano declarations.

The document notices the complainant David Racero to do the extent of his request. The research coordinator, Andres Calle, and the representative Wilmar Leal signed the document.

Congressman Edward Rodriguez abstains from signifying after being pointed as Duque’s electoral campaign member.

In an official communication, Rodriguez affirmed not to participate in the process because of his ethical implications with both parts of the case, primarily on the impugned one.  The right-wing representative did not declare it will be also separated from Aida Merlano's case.

Even when this is an important step on the vote-buying case elucidation, it does not set a noticing date after emergency Congress measures facing Covid-19.​​​​​​​

"The investigation against President Ivan Duque is formally opened in the House of Representatives Accusations Committee, as a result of the statements made by Aida Merlano on electoral corruption." 
 

The accusations against Duque linked several members of his administration and other supporters to vote-buying, as senator Alvaro Uribe and his advisors Priscila Cabrales and Maria Claudia Daza.

These functionaries are mentioned in the audio evidence collected by the Supreme Court of Justice's Instruction Chamber.

The accusatory institution also considers accelerating the process by using alternative channels on notifications and declarations. Denouncer Racero’s complaint will be considered under this option.

Among those summoned to testify are also Duque's election campaign manager Luigi Echeverry,  Interior Minister Alicia Arango,  and the wife of the deceased Jose Guillermo Hernández, who is credited with buying votes for Duque's election in 2018.

The Colombian Commission of Investigation and Accusation will analyze 40 823 messages, audio, and data as evidence of the vote-buying case.

Currently, Duque faces harsh criticism for his poor management of the Covid-19's spread. He will undergo a second test after Pomaya's mayor, whom he recently met, was diagnosed as positive. ​​​​​​​

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