El ABC de la Ley de GarantΓ­as

Law 996 of 2005, commonly known as the "Ley de GarantΓ­as" (Guarantees Law), has the following main objectives:

1. Ensure that the will of the voters is not influenced by the actions of public servants.
2. Prevent vacancies within public entities from being used to influence the will of the voters and to ensure that engagement with the State is not used as a means to seek political favors.

In the context of territorial elections, the law has established the following restrictions for governors, mayors, secretaries, managers, and directors of all decentralized entities. These restrictions came into effect on June 29, 2023, in preparation for the electoral process scheduled for October:

- They cannot enter into inter-administrative agreements for the allocation of resources or participate, promote, or allocate public funds from the entities under their jurisdiction or those in which they participate on the Board of Directors for election campaign activities.
- These officials are not allowed to authorize the use of movable or immovable property owned by the State for campaign activities, and they are also prohibited from providing lodging and transportation to voters for any political candidate or their spokesperson.
- Inaugurating works or initiating social programs at meetings involving candidates for public office or their spokespersons is not permitted.
- The staff roster of the entities cannot be modified except in cases of permanent vacancies (due to death or irrevocable resignation duly accepted) or in cases where civil service regulations apply.

These restrictions remain in place during the four months leading up to the elections. For presidential elections, in addition to the aforementioned restrictions, the use of direct contracting by all State entities is prohibited.

Furthermore, according to Legislative Act 03 of 2019, a runoff election for the Mayor of BogotΓ‘ has been established. Therefore, the provisions related to the Guarantees Law will continue to apply in the Capital District if the conditions for a runoff election are met.

The legislator's objective in enacting this law is to ensure that the elections for these positions are a result of the people's will without being influenced by factors that could compromise the objectivity and transparency of the electoral process.