Colombia’s congress delayed the debate over a constitutional reform necessary to implement an eventual peace deal with FARC rebels until after the mayoral elections on 25 October, the president of the Senate said on Tuesday.
In the second of eight debates on the issue the Senate decided to postpone the next debate.
Luis Fernando Velasco, the president of the Senate, told press that the constitutional reform is “an issue so complex, profound and important” that it should not be used for politics ahead of the upcoming elections.
Velasco explained that congressmen will “have their heads in another place” before local elections day on October 25 and that this is not appropriate for the debate on constitutional reform, adding, “in this legislative act we need to hit the target.”
The reform would allow the creation of a “mini-Congress,” so-called by Santos, a special legislative commission responsible for converting the peace agreements into laws.
The reform would also enable special executive powers for President Juan Manuel Santos so that he may pass laws quickly in order to efficiently implement the agreements of the peace deal.
Ivan Duque, spokesperson for the party, described the special presidential powers as “a blow from the state against the population and democracy.”
The next debate has been postponed until 27 October.
The government has been in peace negotiation with the FARC since November 2012 in order to resolve the 51-year-long civil conflict which killed 260,000 Colombians and left 6 million displaced.