Three candidates for mayor of Medellín joined the decision made in recent days by fellow candidate Rodolfo Correa of Colombia Renaciente not to take part in electoral debates where the results of the polls are the only criterion for selecting guests.
This is Liliana Rendón from the Lilianista movement; Luis Bernardo Vélez, from Cuidemos Medellín and Jaime Mejía, from Sumamos, who together with Correa signed a public statement released on the morning of this Friday, September 8th.
The four candidates complained that they believe there is “high electoral risk in this race due to biased use of polls and media.”
In the statement, the candidates deny that in the debate of the Telemedellín channel that will take place this Sunday, September 10, in the last few days they have invited only the “five candidates who have received the results of the CNC poll on the Mayors, Federico Gutierrez, Maria Paulina Aguinaga, Gilbert Tobon, Juan Carlos Upegui and Albert Corridor.
In addition, they say that similar decisions are being made by other media, namely to use the results of polls to stimulate debate, which, in their opinion, leads to citizens not listening to all voices and polarization only between two political blocs maintains or options.
For this reason, they would not participate in debates that use polls as a tool for these invitations. They also called on the Election Observation Mission (MOE) and the State Ministry to keep an eye on the situation.
In this context, candidate Vélez said through his social networks that the situation was a way to exclude them from the race for the Medellín mayoral election with “umbrellas”.
Vélez particularly commented on the fact that Telemedellín, as the city’s public broadcaster, does not take into account all the candidates in the various debates and wondered whether the media had invested financial resources to finance the CNC poll in which they were invited to the debate on Sunday while asking why this instrument is used as the only selection input.
It should be recalled that in recent weeks the channel held a debate to which it invited all the candidates for mayor of Medellín, but in which Federico Gutiérrez did not participate. “Telemedellín has been repeatedly used as a campaign platform for one of the mayoral candidates and there are no guarantees for my participation in this dialogue scenario,” he argued.
For this reason, some on social networks are already saying that it is unlikely that Fico will take part in the debate on September 10, leaving only former councilor Aguinaga, Professor Tobón and Quinteros, two most vocal candidates for the continuity of his government : Upegui and Corredor.