Roy Barreras, coordinator rapporteur for political reform in the Senate.
The First Commission of the Senate approved in the first of eight debates the legislative act of political reform of the government of President Gustavo Petro, including a point that will give much to talk about: the compulsory vote during two consecutive constitutional periods.
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In this first step for the initiative, some points considered fundamental for the expansion of democracy were also ratified, but also other controversial ones, such as the closed lists, which aims to avoid the buying and selling of votes and patronage; the predominantly state financing of the parties, not the candidates and the mandatory gender parity and diverse identities on the lists. Likewise, the door was opened to turncoat and for congressmen to be appointed ministers by the government in power.
“The closed list in modern democracies has several effects and one of them is that the state financing is for the parties and not for the people. In addition, it allows leadership that does not have political structures to arrive, as well as parties that assume themselves as governing parties, so that those who win the election govern. This allows a party to ask someone elected on a closed list to go to the Executive and that person abide by those party decisions,” said Senator Roy Barreras, rapporteur for the reform.
The approved text also stipulates the limit to re-election within popular public corporations. No one may be elected for more than two consecutive terms in the Senate, the House of Representatives, the departmental assemblies, the district and municipal councils, or the local administrative boards (JAL).
The most important points approved are:
– The parties may only register closed and blocked lists with a guarantee of universality, alternation and gender parity and diverse identities.
– The duty to implement internal democratization mechanisms in the communities is established, failure to comply will result in sanctions for the party, such as the loss of legal status.
– The financing of the parties will be predominantly state-owned and will go directly to the parties, and not to the candidates, which eliminates the personal conflict of interest that arises when the financing is personal.
– If a member of a public corporation stands for the next election for a different party, he must resign from the seat at least six months before registration. And it is guaranteed that those who want to aspire to a position of popular election, must have at least 6 months of militancy within the community.
– Members of popularly elected collegiate bodies, or those who have renounced their seat, are authorized only once to enroll in a party other than the one that endorsed them, without renouncing the seat or incurring double militancy.
– In order to strengthen the citizen culture of participation in the country’s political and electoral decisions, mandatory voting and the State’s duty to guarantee free public transport services on election day are created for two consecutive constitutional terms.
– The congressmen will be able to go to the Executive.