President Gustavo Petro announced on Thursday morning his rejection of the political reform that he himself had presented months ago.
A few hours before the debate that would be final for the reform in the First Committee of the Senate, the president wrote on his Twitter account: "There is no progressive issue left in the political reform."
With this declaration, the reform led by Roy Barreras, president of Congress and an ally of Petro, has no future.
This is the first major defeat for the Government in Congress, which last semester managed to approve the tax reform and is now in the process of obtaining sufficient support for the health, pension and work reforms.
Above all, it is a failure for Barreras, who, seeing that there were no possibilities, joined the criticism and tore up the paper where the project was consigned:
Okay Pdte @petrogustavo.
Without a closed and equal gender list, (which was always 7 years ago when I signed point 2 of the Peace Agreement on behalf of the State, my only demand) Political Reform loses its essence.
I ask the government author of the project to withdraw it🧵 https://t.co/Zybpaip67P pic.twitter.com/VpN46QneWA
— Roy Barreras (@RoyBarreras) March 23, 2023
The president's disagreement is due to the fact that during the previous debates two crucial issues for the Government have been dropped: closed lists with gender parity and state financing of campaigns.
"Without closed lists and zippers, that is to say that allow equal seats for men and women, and without state financing of the campaigns, the reform does not contribute to an advance in the quality of politics," the president sentenced.
The Secretary General of the Presidency, Mauricio Lizcano, added to Petro's criticism: “A political reform that does not solve the structural problems of corruption and politicking does not make any sense.
RIP to political reform”.
Senator María José Pizarro, a fellow bench member of Roy Barreras, also expressed her rejection: "I do not agree with Barreras' presentation," she said in an interview with Blu Radio.
And in his social networks he criticized the same points of the president: "I only support a progressive political reform with closed and equal lists, guaranteeing the participation of women, with 100% state financing of campaigns and in which only judges can limit rights politicians".
My position I do not agree with the presentation of @RoyBarreras I ONLY support a progressive Political Reform:
• closed and equal lists guaranteeing the participation of women
• 100% state financing of campaigns
• Only judges can limit political rights pic.twitter.com /o6QDtb0e4a
— María José Pizarro Rodríguez (@PizarroMariaJo) March 23, 2023
The Petrista Pacto Histórico bench in the House of Representatives, led by David Racero, also expressed its rejection of the reform through a public statement: “During the political reform process, “micos” have been introduced that have demonstrated the lack of of political will on the part of some benches in the Congress of the Republic to modify the rules of the game”, the letter reads.
With "micos", the representatives refer to articles or paragraphs that go against the spirit of the reform, but that go unnoticed to benefit the traditional political powers.
Specifically, they say that they cannot agree with a political reform that establishes "a revolving door so that congressmen can be ministers and that if they wish they can return to occupy the seat during the legislative period."
Another point that has generated controversy is that the reform allows the formation of closed lists without parity, alternation and universality for the next elections.
“Today's text is completely different, as it has several provisions that are considered problematic.
We cannot support a political reform that, before stopping corruption, favors, promotes and allows it”.
The joint call of the representatives to the Chamber of the Historical Pact and of many senators, including Katherine Miranda and Cathy Juvinao of the Green Alliance, is for the National Government to archive the reform project and "develop a new proposal agreed with the different actors political and social that transforms politics in Colombia”.
This is how Miranda wrote it on her Twitter account: "More congressmen are joining my initiative to eliminate monkeys or archive the political reform!"
Juvinao did the same: “The political reform has died.
Political reform is dead.
Now yes, to build a true reform of the political system for the benefit of our democracy and not for fifth-class politicians.
— Cathy Juvinao 🏛🇨🇴 (@CathyJuvinao) March 23, 2023
to the EL PAÍS newsletter on Colombia and receive all the latest information on the country.