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Petro urges the Colombian Congress to call a Constituent Assembly

The Colombian president said that this process must transform institutions so that they obey the people.

The president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro, assured this Monday that Congress has the historic role of processing the convocation of a Constituent Assembly, alluding to the criticism of several former presidents and other politicians who assured that the peace agreement does not give them the power to convene it. .

“The historical role of Congress today is to process its convocation, if not the constituent power, sooner or later, will do so,” the head of state wrote on his X account in a message that has comments restricted.

In a long writing, Petro added: “In my opinion, it is up to the constituent power of the people to do so; It is also under discussion what the means to do so can be: a constituent assembly is only one means of several to express constituent power.”

In March, Petro proposed for the first time the convocation of a Constituent Assembly that “must transform the institutions so that they obey the people in their mandate of peace and justice, which is easy to achieve in Colombia,” as he explained at an event in Cali.

Since then, various political forces have pointed out that this is a risky proposal and that the country must defend the 1991 Constitution, a modern Magna Carta in whose drafting the M-19, the guerrilla of which Petro was a part in his youth, participated. after signing a peace agreement with the Government.

Over the weekend, former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos assured that “using the peace agreement with the FARC to call a constituent assembly is absurd.”

Santos (2010-2018), who signed the 2016 agreement that demobilized the FARC, thus responded to the idea that Petro verbalized last Friday, by ensuring that he not only wants to denounce the Colombian State before the UN for its failure to implement of the peace agreement, but also assured that this text would allow a new constituent to be convened.

“A National Constituent Assembly could be convened through the high contracting parties,” said the president, who has insisted on many occasions that he does not want to be re-elected in 2026, which is prohibited by the Constitution, but has already spoken on several occasions. opportunities to create a constituent, without a clear path to do so.

Faced with these insinuations, Santos said in a video on Sunday that the peace agreement cannot be modified and that “a Constituent Assembly can only be convened using the procedures established by the Constitution.”

“Any attempt to do it by other means would confront the legislative power, the judiciary, the Armed Forces and the vast majority of Colombians,” said the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize winner.

For his part, former president Ernesto Samper (1994-1998) assured in a statement that he supports a constituent assembly but that the signed peace agreement does not enable it.

“In light of these current norms, it is not possible to legitimize the convening of a Constituent Assembly in the Havana peace agreement signed between the State and the FARC: it would be a de facto Constituent Assembly, a leap into the void of institutionality that would begin with ignore Congress and the Constitutional Court,” said Samper.


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