Colombia’s Interior Minister is seeking to reach across the aisle to improve relations between President Juan Manuel Santos’ new cabinet and members of various opposition parties, Colombian media reported on Monday.
Newly-appointed Interior Minister Juan Fernando Cristo revealed that he had been promoting contact with the Green Alliance Party, the Democratic Pole Party, and former President Alvaro Uribe’s Democratic Center Party in an effort to encourage dialogue and to consolidate the parties that backed Santos’ re-election, according to Colombia’s Caracol Radio.
At a time when the government will begin work on key issues in Congress, such as “reforming the balance of powers and eliminating presidential re-elections while extending presidential mandates,” the Santos’ regime will seek to include all parties, according to Cristo.
“Issues like these deserve not only to consolidate the majority of the ‘National Unity’ [Santos supporters], but also to encourage dialogue with the opposition; with the Democratic left like the [Democratic] Pole and independent parties like the Green Alliance, but also with the Democratic Center led by former President Uribe,” said the interior minister.
The mission of the Ministry of the Interior will be to ensure National Unity majorities in Congress and to make a commitment to building peace and will therefore “begin talks this week (…) to define issues that are included in the reform of balancing powers,” according to Caracol.
Last June, when Cristo was the president of Colombia’s Senate, he came out in support of President Santos’ proposal to eliminate presidential re-elections while increasing mandates to a five-year term.
After being re-elected in June, President Santos now has a four year window in which to implement his plans of consolidation and balancing powers.