The Centro Democratico party, led by former President Alvaro Uribe, has presented a bill proposal that would prevent mayors and regional governors who resign from their responsibilities from participating in politics for up to 1 year after their resignation.
The proposal has been named the “Daniel Quintero Law” after the former mayor of Medellín, who resigned on September 30th to participate in the campaign of his candidate, Juan Carlos Upegui, who is running to succeed him in the elections on the 29th of this month.
Although the polls are highly favorable to Federico Gutierrez, who could receive up to 60% of the votes according to some studies, Daniel Quintero, who served as the mayor of Medellin since January 1, 2020, resigned three months before the end of his term to support Juan Carlos Upegui, who is polling at only 7%, far behind Gutiérrez.
Public officials cannot participate in politics
In Colombia, the law prohibits a political officeholder from participating in politics. For example, current mayors, who cannot seek reelection because political positions in the country are not consecutively reelectable, also cannot support candidates seeking to continue their policies. In this regard, Quintero was penalized by the electoral authority last year due to a comment on social media that was interpreted as support for the then-presidential candidate Gustavo Petro.
This is why the mayor of Medellin resigned: to support Urpegui. However, in Colombia, many see his resignation as a maneuver to avoid a third electoral penalty that would disqualify him for 3 years, making it impossible for him to run for president in 2026, as he is rumored to intend.
Although nothing has been officially confirmed, some political analysts believe that Quintero’s real intentions are to present himself as the successor to Gustavo Petro in a center-left candidacy that would favor political continuity in the presidency.
The Daniel Quintero Law
Senator Paola Holguín and Representative Juan Espinal, both lawmakers from the Centro Democrático conservative party, have introduced the legislative proposal that mayors and governors cannot participate in politics until 1 year after leaving office. The idea is to prevent, as former Mayor Quintero did, the possibility of resigning and immediately becoming eligible to participate in a candidate’s campaign.
“The bill seeks to harmonize the incompatibilities brought by Law 617 of 2000 in articles 38 and 39. They have named it the ‘Daniel Quintero Law.’ (…) It will prevent mayors from engaging in politics for 12 months after resigning or finishing their term,” stated the Centro Democrático representatives.
Under this proposed law, these individuals would not be able to participate in public events, party activities, or support candidates. However, it would not affect their “right to vote” as citizens, which would remain intact.
“We want to prevent a leader, whether a mayor or governor, from making the decision to resign to enter an electoral campaign and get reelected through some other person,” said Senator Holguín.