The governor of the Magdalena department, Carlos Caicedo, has resigned from his position to campaign for his political candidates. Following in the footsteps of the former mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, the former regional leader decided to step down from his office two and a half months before the end of his term on December 31.
With his resignation, he will be able to actively support the candidates from his party for the position of mayor and the governorship in the elections scheduled for October 29. It’s worth noting that his own sister, Patricia Caicedo, was the mayoral candidate for Santa Marta, the regional capital, but her candidacy was revoked by the electoral authority due to her family ties with the governor.
Also, it’s important to remember that, according to electoral legislation in Colombia, incumbent political officeholders cannot participate in political campaigns.
Magdalena, a government stronghold
With the confirmation of Patricia Caicedo’s candidacy for the mayoralty of Santa Marta being annulled, the options for candidates aligned with President Petro’s government are dwindling.
As a result, the anticipated electoral shift compared to the results of 2019 is affecting one of the few strongholds that was expected to remain loyal to the current Colombian president’s government, according to polls. Carlos Caicedo’s party, Fuerza Ciudadana, has governed the capital of Magdalena since 2012, and four years ago, it managed to win the regional governorship.
In his resignation letter sent to President Petro, Caicedo cites his sense of responsibility as the reason for his resignation: “There are moments in life when we must have a special sense of responsibility. I assumed it during the almost four years I have been the governor of Magdalena…. Today, however, the responsibility I feel is infinitely greater. I take on the mission to defend democracy, which is openly in danger at this moment. Therefore, I submit my irrevocable resignation to you due to the constitutional and legal mandate that obliges me to do so, and to the sovereign people of Magdalena who elected me as governor,” explained the former governor.
“Democracy is in danger”
Carlos Caicedo’s resignation from the position of Magdalena Governor frees him to support Jorge Agudelo and Rafael Martinez in their candidacies for the mayoralty of Santa Marta and the governorship of Magdalena, respectively. Agudelo replaces the disqualified Patricia Caicedo, sister of the former governor.
However, Agudelo’s candidacy is not legally confirmed, as some opposition candidates argue that it was registered out of time. Likewise, Rafael Martinez, the candidate from the same party for the governorship, is pending a decision from the National Electoral Council (CNE) since the body recently opened an investigation against him for alleged dual membership, which could end his aspirations for the governorship.
The fact remains that the party of Carlos Caicedo’s candidates for the mayoralty of Santa Marta and the governorship of Magdalena leads in the polls. However, their candidacies could be annulled, which has led the former governor and regional political leader to state that “democracy is in danger.”
In his resignation letter, Caicedo emphasizes that he left his position not due to “fatigue” or because someone “asked him to,” but to “defend our political ideas.”
“I resign to not give way to those from before, to those who for years plundered the resources and public assets of this city and the department, and to defend the ideas of change of Fuerza Ciudadana, for which I have fought with integrity and resilience for over 20 years,” highlighted the former governor.