Colombia President Juan Manuel Santos suggested on Tuesday to allow presidents, governors and mayors longer political terms and a ban reelections.
Santos, himself hoping to be reelected in May, proposes extending the terms of current governors and mayors for two additional years, to coincide with the presidential elections in 2018.
Santos proposed extending political terms for all regional leaders to five or six years, but instigating a ban on re-election. However the current Colombian president will continue his own reelection campaign.
In the speech given at National Conference for Municipalities in Bogota, Santos stated that it was “a mistake putting the periods of the National Government in different time periods to the departmental and municipal government.” Current regional leaders should extend their terms until 2018 to coincide with national re-elections.
Santos argues that: “when there is a new mayor, they take a while to engage, to approve plans and decide how it will run. Then a new government comes in halfway through their term, the government has to engage and decide how it will run; making it very different to coordinate and execute any plans for development and change.”
The new initiative would seek to improve the efficiency of political powers nationwide by giving them more time to work in collaboration.
Santos will present the legislation to congress if he becomes reelected.
Santos urged the Colombian people to help to make it possible as “the evidence is clear that it was a mistake to have designed the period of mayors and governors to not coincide. We must correct it.”
The president had earlier called to extend the terms for executive offices including his own, but — facing then-abysmal approval ratings — was forced to withdraw the proposal.
- Palabras del Presidente Juan Manuel Santos en el Encuentro Nacional de Municipios 2014 (President’s Office)
- Santos propone eliminar reelección pero con periodos de 5 ó 6 años (El Espectador)
- Santos planteó eliminar reelección y ampliar periodos de alcaldes (El Tiempo)
- Santos propone eliminar reelección y ampliar periodo para alcaldes y gobernadores (El Pais)