The first debates in Congress on Colombia’s new peace deal with the Marxist FARC rebel group are scheduled for next Tuesday, with a vote on the pact expected on Thursday.
Immediately following the ceremony, Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo delivered the signed deal to Congress along with a letter confirming Santos’ decision to take the legislative route to ratify the agreement.
The new deal has been fast-tracked in order to have it ratified by Congress before their Christmas recess, thus enabling the process of demobilization to begin for the FARC rebels.
“The swift implementation of the accords is essential to prevent the collapse of the ceasefire and the loss of more lives,” said the president in the letter delivered to Congress following Thursday’s signing of the revised deal.
The deal’s chief negotiators, Humberto de la Calle and the High Commissioner for Peace, Sergio Jaramillo, have been summoned to explain the details of the new agreement to Congress on Tuesday.
Among the terms of debate outlined for next week, the Democratic Center (CD), as the opposition party, will have two spokesmen whereas all other parties will have one. The CD will also have twice as much time to argue its side, reported El Espectador.
While the opposition led by former president Alvaro Uribe is vocal, it appears only the Conservative party may stand with the CD when the deal is put for a vote next week, not enough for a congressional majority.
“The government has already complied and now it is up to Congress to assume its responsibility, representing the more than 14 million Colombians who elected us, and we will not disappoint them.,” said Senate President Mauricio Lizcano.
For the moment, the outlook is positive for Colombia’s peace deal with the FARC to finally be ratified and implemented, and the guerrillas’ demobilization and disarmament to be resumed.