President Santos’ so-called “balance of power” bill seeks to increase the length of presidential term and eliminate reelections.
In a statement to the press on Tuesday, Colombia’s new Minister of the Interior announced that support is strong for the balance of power reform, and that the National Unity coalition is consolidating its effort to push the agenda through, according to an official press statement.
The bill will abolish presidential reelections, and extend the present four-year presidential term to five or six years.
An advisory committee consisting of congressmen from all parties within the National Unity will meet on Thursday to work with the Ministry of the Interior on drafting the bill, said Minister Juan Fernando Cristo.
Santos is expected to present the draft to Congress in two weeks.
Just after his own reelection, president Santos stated at the official opening of Congress on July 20 that election reform was a priority of his, according to international newswire EFE.
Colombian radio Caracol reported that the forthcoming week’s dialogue among the political parties to agree on the balance of power law will include Democratic Center, the opposition party founded by former president Alvaro Uribe.
After publicly stating his disagreement with the option of reelection during his 2002 presidential campaign, Uribe changed his mind during his first term and passed an amendment to the constitution in 2004.
During his second time in office, Uribe attempted a reelection referendum to permit him to run for a third term.
The law was passed in Congress, but the Constitutional Court denied the amendment and called it “unconstitutional in its entirety.”
Former president of the Constitutional Court Mauricio Gonzalez stated that the way the referendum was handled not only showed irregularities, but serious violations.
- Santos presentará en 15 días proyecto para eliminar reelección presidencial (EFE)
- “La Unidad Nacional está fortalecida”: Mininterior (Minister of the Interior press release)
- En dos semanas el Gobierno presentará proyecto de equilibrio de poderes (Radio Caracol)