The Liberal senator from the First Committee of the Senate, Juan Fernando Cristo, stirred up controversy on Wednesday after saying that his party is against presidential re-elections, but only after 2018.
President Juan Manuel Santos was elected in 2010 on clear ground rules from the previous administration that allow him to run for a second term. However, the socialist party Polo Democratico, led by Senator Alexander Lopez Maya, has been trying to amend those rules.
According to Cristo, “If he [Santos] was elected under these rules, we cannot change midway and prohibit re-election… and we should allow the constitution to remain in force until a new president is elected.”
The senator went on to say that they should wait until 2018 to determine whether to eliminate re-elections.
Roy Barreras of the U Party describes Cristo’s position as opportunistic and that liberalism in the past has always opposed re-election, and now that they are in power, they want to remain until 2018.
According to Barreras, “[Cristo’s] proposal is inconsistent, and I invite Senator Cristo, who has never been in favor of re-election, to vote with the Polo Democratic in saying ‘no’ to re-elections.”
The Polo Democratico’s proposal, however, does not have enough votes and is expected to sink.