Minutes after learning that the Constitutional Court had overturned the powers of the attorney general’s office to dismiss, suspend and disqualify elected officials, but to sanction them, President Gustavo Petro commented on the court’s decision warning that he would introduce a bill to comply with the American Convention on Human Rights.
“As we have defended, the Office of the Attorney General, because it is an administrative authority, cannot take away political rights, as prohibited by Article 23 of the American Convention, which is part of the Constitution. . Too bad the Constitutional Court limits this ban to elected officials only,” President Petro wrote on Twitter.
Then, the president also warned that what is provided for in article 23 of the convention must be respected by the Colombian state:
“No one can have their political rights taken away except by the decision of a criminal judge. This article, which is Article 23 of the American Convention, must be respected by the Colombian State. this regard, hopefully in consensus with the current Attorney General’s office.”
It should be mentioned that the article referred to by President Petro reads as follows:
- All citizens should enjoy the following rights and opportunities: a. participate in the conduct of public affairs, directly or through freely chosen representatives; to vote and to be elected in genuine periodic elections, carried out by universal and equal suffrage and by secret ballot guaranteeing the free expression of the will of the electors, and to have access, under general conditions of equality, to public office of their countries.
- The law may regulate the exercise of the rights and possibilities referred to in the preceding paragraph, exclusively for reasons of age, nationality, residence, language, education, civil or mental capacity, or conviction, by a competent judge in criminal matters.