The process for the elections next October is viewed with reservations due to the presence of illegal armed groups in Catatumbo, in Norte de Santander, and some areas of the departments of Arauca and Casanare, said Édgar Alberto Polo, national executive director of the Federation National Councils (Fenacon).
Meanwhile, the manager stressed that today in most of the national territory there is security for the development of these elections, in which in addition to councilors, they will vote for deputies, councilors, governors and mayors.
THE NEW CENTURY: How do you see the scenario for the regional elections next October in Fenacon, in the case of the councillors, in terms of security, guarantees and the political map?
EDGAR ALBERTO POLO DEVIA: Good security, although the Catatumbo area is still affected a bit, some areas of Arauca and Casanare are also somewhat affected by these illegal groups. Let’s hope that it will not transcend much in electoral matters.
Politically, what we have identified at the regional level is that people tend to turn to the ranks of the Historical Pact, regardless of the party that is forming it, whether there is MAIS, the Polo, all the others who want to form the Pact there; the same Human Colombia. What are alternative parties too, like the Green Party.
Center parties I don’t see it much; On the contrary, we see them as more weakened, like the Partido de la U, which we see as a little weakened. We also see the Democratic Center, Cambio Radical, in a low trend.
And we have identified a rather curious phenomenon and that is that the areas that we thought were right-wing, because there are indeed right-wing regions, are being affected because we see that people want to seek participation for those parties.
ENS: How do you view the conservatives and liberals, who have historically been very strong in regional elections?
EAPD: We believe that they are going to be sustained, they are going to stay alive at the local level, but let’s say that today if the Liberal Party has five seats, they will be reduced to two around there. In effect, 40% to 50% of the traditional parties will be affected.
ENS: Has the profile of the councilor in Colombia grown or not, or is there still a lack of further training in politics and in terms of the responsibility of being a spokesperson for citizens at the local level?
EAPD: There is still a long way to go, yes there has been growth but we still have a long way to go to reach a high level. It has grown because the educational level of the councilors is not so low.
In the past we had up to 50%, today we are over 60-65% of councilors who already have a high educational level. We have already had councilors who are more qualified, more educated, more knowledgeable in the area of public administration, and that is a pledge of guarantee for us that indeed work is being done in areas of public management.
ENS: One would think that in cities where there are local administration boards (JAL), they serve as a seedbed or school for the training of people who later reach the councils…
EAPD: Indeed they are seedbeds, the good thing here is that we see a lot of activity on the part of the Ministry of the Interior in that it is presenting processes of formation and training in citizen participation.
The more citizen participation there is at the local level, there will effectively be more political participation and those processes of community participation that the national government is carrying out are taking them to the territories through the governorates.
We see that there is always more training in the political process itself, in what public management is, in the work of the councilor, in the work of the mayor. Now the citizen is also overturned to exercise social control. If he is going to participate in a political process, he already at least knows what political control is.
So for us they are quite important aspects and that are credited to him in this new Government.