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What is it, what is it for and how is it processed?

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What is it, what is it for and how is it processed?

The president, Gustavo Petro, spoke from Cali about the idea of ​​holding a National Constituent Assembly in the country. Given the president’s statements on Radio Nacional de Colombia, we explain to you what a National Constituent Assembly is, what it is for and how it is processed?

“If the institutions that we have in Colombia today are not capable of living up to the social reforms that the people decreed through their vote (…) then Colombia has to go to a National Constituent Assembly,” said the president. from Cali.

What is a National Constituent Assembly?

The Constituent Assembly is a figure that the Political Constitution of Colombia itself has to reform.
Article 374 of the Political Constitution of Colombia defined that “the Political Constitution may be reformed by Congress, by a Constituent Assembly or by the people through a referendum.”

For its part, article 376 established that “By means of a law approved by a majority of the members of both Chambers, Congress may provide that the people in a popular vote decide whether to convene a Constituent Assembly with the competence, period and composition that the “The same law determines. It will be understood that the people convene the Assembly, if it is approved by at least one third of the members of the electoral roll.”

In this same section of the Magna Carta it is stated that “The Assembly must be elected by the direct vote of the citizens, in an electoral act that cannot coincide with another.”

“As of the election, the ordinary power of Congress to reform the Constitution will be suspended during the period designated for the Assembly to fulfill its functions. The Assembly will adopt its own regulations,” adds the same section.

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National Constituent Assembly: How is it processed?

To modify the Constitution through a Constituent Assembly, both the Senate and the House of Representatives must approve a law to call Colombians to elections.

Afterwards, it must go to presidential sanction so that the President of the Republic can then send it to the Constitutional Court, at which point its constitutionality must be defined.

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Already in the voting. The electoral card must have:

  • ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ voting options for the call
  • List of topics that would be discussed at the Assembly.

When the citizens have accepted the formation of the National Constituent Assembly, the people who will comprise it must be elected.

To know how many people will comprise this assembly, one must wait to know the number of seats defined by the law approved by Congress.

Let us remember that according to article 276 of the Political Constitution of 1991, when the Constituent Assembly is formed, “the ordinary power of Congress to reform the Constitution will be suspended during the period indicated for the Assembly to fulfill its functions.”

1991, the last time a Constituent Assembly was installed in Colombia

Meeting for the Truth #IndigenousTruth, video frame broadcast live on October 23, 2020. Indigenous peoples at risk of physical and cultural extermination: their dignity, resistance and contributions to peace. Min: 26:08.

The National Constituent Assembly was installed on February 5, 1991. Its three presidents were: Horacio Serpa of the Liberal Party, Álvaro Gómez Hurtado for the National Salvation movement and Antonio Navarro Wolff of the Democratic Alliance M-19.

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The National Constituent Assembly of Colombia was convened in 1991 to promulgate a new Political Constitution for the country, to replace the 1886 Constitution.

This National Constituent Assembly was installed on February 5, 1991 and had as presidents Horacio Serpa of the Liberal Party, Álvaro Gómez Hurtado of the National Salvation movement and Antonio Navarro Wolff of the Democratic Alliance M-19.

On July 4, 1991, their functions ceased when the country’s new political Constitution was promulgated.

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