Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and his congressional coalition continue to blame each other over a government-proposed justice reform that failed after coalition congressmen added controversial amendments to the bill.
In an interview with television network Caracol, Santos said that jailed politicians had used their allies in Congress to make amendments that would allow the immediate freedom of lawmakers in legal trouble.
According to the president, these incarcerated former lawmakers “asked their henchmen, their defenders, for their liberation. There were a lot of interests behind this reform.”
However, House Representative Augusto Posada, who took part in the final commission that made the controversial final changes and is set to take over the presidency of the lower chamber later this month, accused Santos of being a hypocrite.
“He left all responsibility with Congress,” Posada told newspaper El Tiempo.
According to the lawmaker, the crisis over the flunked justice reform has widened the rift between the U Party, of which Santos is President and Posada is a member.
“The U Party is going through a tough time,” Posada said. “Not because of the reform but because of the confrontation between President Santos and ex-President [Alvaro] Uribe.
The U Party was founded by Santos and formed the basis of Uribe’s legislative support during his 2002-2010 Presidency. Relations between Santos and Uribe worsened after Santos took over the presidency, appointed Uribe critics in key positions within his government and adopted a significantly more liberal approach than his predecessor.