|'Petro Stays, Damnit!' says a poster at a pro-Petro march this afternoon.|
Petro's first challenge was a recall referendum. Petro first tried to stop the recall, then said he would not try to stop the vote from going forward, and then mounted a series of legal challenges, which look likely to create long delays for the vote. (But today Petro lost in two court challenges to the recall.)
Petro has battled the recall referendum despite the fact that it appears unlikely to succeed. Petro may not win a popularity contest, but his opponents will have a hard time fulfilling the voter participation requirement for a special election. By opposing the recall referendum, Petro also looks like a hypocrite, since he participated in the 1991 Constitutional Convention which wrote the right to a recall into Colombia's Constitution.
|Bogotá's vacant La Santamaria bullring. If Petro goes, |
bullfighting may return here.
But now Petro faces a more immediate
|Cyclists on Ave. Septima. If Petro goes, the pedestrianization |
of La Septima and the city's bike-lending
program probably will, too.
But if mishandling city policies were a legitimate basis for removing a mayor, then few city halls would be staffed today. Rather, Petro should have to pay at the polls next year for the garbage problem. It's hard to ignore the fact that Ordoñez is an arch conservative who would undoubtedly sigh with relief if Petro, an ex-leader of the M-19 guerrilla group, were ousted from office.
Petro has until Nov.6 to respond to Ordoñez's charges against him.
Petro has alienated voters in other ways, with a controversial urban land-use plan and new tax liens for infrastructure projects. He's also created allies, including animal rights supporters, who appreciate his decision to stop bullfighting and bicyclists, who like the fact that part of Ave. Septima is closed to cars.
But Petro's suporters can't measure up to his powerful opponents.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours