Former Colombian President resigns from Senate amid corruption investigation

Latin America

Former Colombian president and former senator Alvaro Uribe (C) of Democratic Center Party, is pictured at the Capitol in Bogota during the installation of the new Congress, for the legislative period 2018-2022, on July 20, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / Raul ARBOLEDA)

Former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe has resigned his Senate seat, causing a major, political shake-up in the country. He’s being investigated by the country’s Supreme Court. CGTN’s Michelle Begue filed this report from Bogota.

“The supreme court has called me to an inquiry,” Uribe wrote on Twitter, adding that, quote: “I feel morally impeded from being a senator.”

Uribe is under investigation for possible witness tampering and bribery. Colombia’s Supreme Court has called on him to testify.

“Senator Alvaro Uribe and Representative Alvaro Hernan Prada will be linked to the process through an inquiry,” President of the Supreme Court Luis Hernandez said. “Before presenting themselves to this process, they will have the opportunity to hear the evidence and they will have enough time to prepare their defense against the charges against them.”

A criminal conviction could lead to jail time. Uribe tweeted he would be working on his defense, and his lawyer said he would cooperate with the investigation.

After the announcement, President-Elect Ivan Duque expressed his solidarity with the former president.

 “We are witnesses of his honor, his integrity, his patriotism and his unquestionable service to the country and to the rule of law,” Duque said.

FILE PHOTO: Ivan Duque, then-presidential candidate for Democratic Center party, right, and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe raise their hands during a campaign rally in Bogota, Colombia, Sunday, May 20, 2018. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)

The president-elect was Uribe’s candidate during this year’s presidential elections. Duque described Uribe as his mentor. Duque’s critics argued that he would not only be guided, but controlled by the former president. Analysts now wonder how this development will effect Duque when he takes office on August 7th.