Whether an honest mistake or a show of incompetence, Colombia’s right-wing Democratic Center party senators on Tuesday surprisingly voted in favor of a political reform they have vehemently opposed over the past few weeks.
After an eight hour long debate in the Senate’s first commission, Democratic Center senator Paloma Valencia proposed an amendment to the political reform legislation passing through congress, to allow the a former president to run for president again after waiting four years.
Valencia’s proposal could be taken as an attempt to get Democratic Center party leader and former President Alvaro Uribe back into Colombia’s presidential palace.
The Democratic Center bench then requested that the bill be submitted to vote. When the time to vote on the initial proposal to eliminate reelection came, the “Uribistas” thought they were voting for their own amendment to allow a former president to run for president again, according to Semana magazine.
|“It is clear that when your father, Uribe, abandons you and leaves the room, the babies are left confused. Hopefully he will keep accompanying you because if not, who knows how many mistakes will be made. You have to study a little more.”|
Senators Paloma Valencia, Jose Obdulio Gaviria, Jaime Amin, and Alfredo Rangel ended up voting for the elimination of the reelection along with their opponents in the governing coalition let by Santos’s U party. The final vote in the commission was 13 senators in favor and three against.
After realizing their mistake, the senators tried to revive the debate but senate rules would not allow it, effectively killing their chance at keeping reelection alive. The senators were reportedly not paying attention or had not read the senate rules.
U Party senator Roy Barreras said, “It is clear that when your father, Uribe, abandons you and leaves the room, the babies are left confused. Hopefully he will keep accompanying you because if not, who knows how many mistakes will be made. You have to study a little more.”
Barreras was referring to the fact that Uribe had left the floor just moments before voting took place.
Ironically, Uribe himself introduced the ability for a Colombian president to run for a second term back in 2006 and now his own party voted for its elimination.