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Petro’s proposal generated criticism and political debate

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Petro’s proposal generated criticism and political debate

The president proposed on Friday in Cali a national constituent assembly if the institutions that the country has “are not capable of living up to the reforms” of the Government and that are being processed in Congress.

An unexpected debate on the Constitution opened in Colombia with President Gustavo Petro’s proposal to convene a national constituent assembly given the difficulty in getting Congress to approve his reforms.

This was recognized this Saturday by the president himself on the social network 2022.

«The proposal for a Constituent Assembly will spark a national debate. “It is good that this is the case,” said the president when sharing the speech in which he made the controversial announcement, described as a “balloon” of distraction by various sectors because Petro’s legislative and popular support is diminishing.

According to former left-wing senator Jorge Robledo, Petro’s idea of ​​a constituent only seeks to distract “because it does not have enough votes to approve it in Congress or to approve it among the citizens.”

“That he mentions her, more than proving his political strength in Colombia, what demonstrates is his weakness,” said Robledo in X, and assured that Petro’s maneuver is a sign of “desperation.”

On Friday, at an event in Puerto Resistencia, a sector of Cali that was the epicenter of the 2021 social protests, Petro argued that the national constituent assembly is necessary if the institutions that the country has “are not capable of living up to the reforms” that his Government proposes and that are bogged down in Congress.

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These protests were the starting point of the nonconformity that led Petro to win the 2022 elections and in them the protesters, mostly young people, demanded profound social changes in the country, a banner that the current president took up.

Petro’s statement has not been received by politicians, who consider it impertinent to change a Constitution that was promulgated in 1991 and in whose drafting participated, among others, the demobilized members of the M-19 guerrilla, of which the current president was a part. .

Senator Humberto de la Calle, a member of the Centro Esperanza Coalition and who was the only representative of the Executive in the 1991 National Constituent Assembly, described the president’s argument as “weak.”

“The reason that the president alleges for calling a constituent assembly is the impossibility of complying with the Constitution, according to his own saying (…) If it were true, it is not the Constitution that must be changed but the way of governing,” added the congressman in a statement.

De la Calle recalled that to approve a constituent assembly a bill is required, which must pass through a Congress in which Petro no longer has a majority, and “two calls to the people”, first for them to say if they want a constitutional reform and, If so, to approve any changes.

The president was reminded on social media of a campaign promise he made in 2018 when he allied himself with a faction of the Green Alliance party – led by the former mayors of Bogotá Antanas Mockus and Claudia López – not to call a constituent assembly.

In the photo, the current president appears carrying a marble plaque on which he signed a decalogue of commitments in the event of winning the elections, which he ended up losing to the Uribista Iván Duque.

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The second point said: “I will not call a constituent assembly.”

Claudia López, who was mayor of Bogotá between 2020 and 2023, said in Serenity and firmness Colombia. In democracy we will protect the Constitution of ’91, which was the result of a national and citizen agreement.

«It does not have majorities even to approve an ordinary Law, much less to call a Constituent Assembly. He knows it, but he says it to sow chaos, division and polarization, which are the tools with which he will maneuver the period he has left. Gustavo Petro does not care about change, people, the economy, security, or the country. The only thing she cares about is feeding his vain megalomania,” he added.

There is no atmosphere

Analyst León Valencia, director of the Peace & Reconciliation Foundation (Pares), assured that he understands “Petro’s frustration” because “social reforms, as necessary as they are urgent, are not advancing” and “the resistance of the traditional elites is enormous.” .

However, he considered that “perhaps the environment is not there to embark on a constituent process.”

“The best thing is to go to the presidential powers to make possible changes through decrees and directives and concentrate efforts on executing the approved development plan and moving forward with peace with the ELN (National Liberation Army),” Valencia added.

The president of the Colombian Congress, Senator Iván Name, assured this Saturday that this institution will process the Government’s projects “free of pressure” after President Gustavo Petro proposed a national constituent assembly if his reforms are not approved in the legislature.

«Our country is not going to accept threats or pressure, and its Congress of the Republic is going to calmly and serenely process the legislative proposals and the Government’s proposals, and those that come from those authorized to do so, with a democratic character, free of pressure. », Name expressed in a video published on X.

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He added that next week Congress will continue studying government initiatives, such as the controversial health reform, and “will guarantee its committees the peace of mind, as well as its plenary session, of being able to calmly process, and without threats, the laws, the proposals that are convenient for the country.

«Congress does not have a noose around the neck of presidentialism. We have said it many times and we demand serenity, respect, harmony, cordiality on the part of the Government, and we ask the president to treat the democracy over which he presides in that same tone and level of cordiality, so that our society is not wrongly debased. institutionality. Name added.

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