Colombia’s government and congress voted in favor Tuesday of the first draft of a proposed framework for peace in the country, on the condition that a controversial constitutional clause be excluded.
The draft approval followed an assurance from Colombia’s president Juan Manuel Santos that the clause that may have allowed demobilized paramilitaries and guerrillas to run for election and hold public office would be excluded.
Support for the proposal was overwhelming with the approval of 27 votes to one.
In September, Senator Roy Barreras, with the support of President Santos, proposed the modification of the Colombian constitution that defends the rights of those who demobilized through a government peace process.
In his proposal, Barreras wanted article 122 of the political constitution to be overturned. Article 122 states that anyone convicted of belonging to, promoting or financing illegal armed groups or of crimes against humanity or drug trafficking cannot stand for public office.
The controversial clause has not been completely withdrawn from the proposal nor officially voted upon, meaning that it could still be discussed in future debates.
There is still concern in some political sectors that the new reforms will unfairly benefit ex-paramilitaries, former guerrillas, and members of the military that have been implicated in the conflict.