Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio on Wednesday proposed converting Colombia from a presidential to a parliamentary system of government.
Under a parliamentary system, the majority party in Congress would elect a prime minister who would be able to stand for re-election indefinitely.
Cossio, who was appointed by Uribe in 2008, explained that a parliamentary system would allow the country to more effectively achieve its political objectives.
Opposition politicians were quick to respond to Cossio’s statements.
Rafael Pardo, the Liberal Party’s presidential candidate, was quoted by newspaper El Tiempo as saying that Cossio’s proposal was nothing more than a “smokescreen to cover up [other issues of importance].”
Sergio Farjado, presidential candidate for the Compromiso Ciudadano por Colombia party, said that “now is not the time to be discussing these things”, and that there are “many problems that are better to be focusing on right now.”
With only a few months until Colombia’s presidential election, Cossio’s proposed reform would not help Uribe supporters who want to see the president remain in office for a third term.
Cossio explained that his proposal was only intended to be for future consideration.