A political reform proposed by Colombia’s government to balance power in government and avoid the abuse of power of officials got stuck on Monday after 13 of 19 Senators who are supposed to vote on the bill claimed that pending criminal and disciplinary investigations impeded their vote.
According to weekly Semana, the massive declaration of impediment is caused by a fear among congressmen over a wave of lawsuits that have been filed against lawmakers who voted on reforms in which they had personal interest.
The political reform includes the creation of a super court that oversees high courts and government watchdogs in charge of ongoing investigating of senators and house representatives.
It took Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo — until last year investigated himself for alleged ties to criminal organizations — to bring a former Constitutional Court president to the Senate commission to assure the lawmakers their troubles with Justice was not impeding them to vote.
Following a two-hour impasse, the only Senator who maintained her impediment to vote was Viviane Morales of the Liberal Party. The senator is Colombia’s former Prosecutor General and enjoying strong support in the judicial branch.
Apart from the proposed super court, the administration of President Juan Manuel Santos wants to impede the president from running for a second term like Santos and his predecessor, now-Senator Alvaro Uribe, did.