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Colombia moves Bogota mayor's recall referendum to April 6

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Bogota, Feb 15 (EFE).- The Colombian electoral authority set April 6 as the date for the recall referendum for Bogota Mayor Gustavo Petro, originally scheduled for March 2 but postponed this week because of budget delays.

The new date was established in a resolution signed Friday by the registrars of the District of Bogota, Esperanza Mejia and Jaime Hernando Suarez Bayona, according to a communique issued by the electoral authority.

The national registrar, Carlos Ariel Sanchez, told reporters that the Finance Ministry has already received the resolution ordering the allocation of money necessary for holding the referendum - it was the delay in funding that forced the referendum to be postponed.

The referendum is a different process from the leftist mayor's ouster ordered Dec. 9, 2013, by Colombian Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez, for the supposed mismanagement of a crisis in the waste collection system that occurred in 2012.

That sentence has not been carried out due to the appeals filed by the mayor's attorneys before national courts and international organizations.

For the mayor to be removed from office, a referendum is required with a participation equal to at least 55 percent of the total valid votes cast in the elections of October 2011, which Petro won, and that half of the vote plus one be in favor of the ouster.

Petro said Saturday that the Colombian electoral authority's decision to postpone the referendum until next April 6 "is illegal."

In messages on his Twitter account, Petro mentioned the decision to delay the recall referendum, originally set for March 2, and said it is illegal because it violates an article of Colombian law.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/agencia-efe/140215/colombia-moves-bogota-mayors-recall-referendum-april-6