NATIONAL POLITICS

“Serious corruption” means a redo in San Ramón municipal elections

After Miguel Ángel Aguilera was reelected in San Ramón, his opponents cried foul. The electoral court has now ruled that the process will have to be repeated at 65 tables of the district. Aguilera is also being investigated for bribery and money laundering.

 The Electoral Court (TRICEL) has announced that 65 tables will have to repeat the municipal election for mayor and city councillor in the district of San Ramón, due to irregularities. This represents about one-third of the electoral register of San Ramón.

 During last May’s election, the current mayor of San Ramón, Miguel Ángel Aguilera, was reelected with 23.9 percent of the votes. However, his opponents Gustavo Toro (DC), David Cabedo (RN), Genaro Balladares (IND), and Miguel Pino (IND) presented a nullity appeal, after irregularities in the voting process were reported. This included unsealed ballot boxes, and assisted voting for people related to the candidate.  

 The appeal was taken by the Electoral Court, which confirmed the repetition of the process, due to “serious corruption that contaminated the process.” After the Court made the announcement, Gustavo Toro, who led the nullity claims, tweeted that “TRICEL confirmed the verdict, there was electoral fraud in San Ramón.”

 About Aguilera

Aguilera, mayor of San Ramón since 2012, is currently under investigation for bribery between 2014 and 2016 and money laundering and unjust enrichment from 2013 to 2017; and he is set to be in court on June 21 for the final verdict.

He was also linked to drug traffickers by a report made by Informe Especial, an investigative TV show from the national channel TVN. According to the report, a drug-trafficking network was discovered in the area that included workers close to the mayor and known drug dealers in the district.

Even after the story was published, Aguilera kept the identified municipal workers in their positions, without punishment. According to La Tercera, the mayor also used municipal workers for his reelection campaign.

The repetition of the municipal election includes four full polling stations and two other tables. TRICEL has yet to specify a date for the redo.

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