Colombian President Alvaro Uribe unauthorized Interior and Justice
Minister Fabio Valencia to push parliamentary immunity, newspaper El
Espectador reported Wednesday.
According to anonymous sources within the Presidency, Uribe unauthorized his Minister to promote the project any further to avoid the idea that the President is seeking impunity for crimes committed by members of parliament.
Valencia Cossio and Partido de la U leader Luis Carlos Restrepo wanted some form of parliamentary immunity to “protect the dignity of Congress”. More than half of Colombia’s members of the House and Senate are being criminally investigated.
The proposals received fierce criticism from the opposition, legal experts and presidential candidates of all sides.
The government and its coalition in Congress have been in serious clashes with the Supreme Court over the prosecution of Congressmen with alleged paramilitary ties, alleged government bribes, the investigation of the possibly illegal ratification of the referendum that seeks the re-election of Uribe and other things.
According to the newspaper, the President now seeks the installment of a seperate judge who can guarantee a fair trial for Congressmen. Coalition party De la U meanwhile is seeking international support to fight the “intimidations and threats” against Congress.