The president of the Fifth Commission, Inti Asprilla, told the public that 40 minutes had passed since the time set for the start of the session in which there was no the senators presented themselves
Gustavo Petro considers the lack of a quorum in the Fifth Commission to debate the ban on fracking to be regrettable. (Reuters and Alianza Colombia Libre de Fracking)
This Thursday, November 24, the Fifth Commission of the Senate of the Republic was going to debate the bill that contemplates the prohibition of fracking in Colombia; however, the Board of Directors had to adjourn the session due to the absenteeism of congressmen who belong to traditional political parties.
President Gustavo PetroHe described as “unfortunate” that several legislators did not attend the meeting. “The practice of fracking destroys water and territory,” the head of state wrote from his Twitter account and assured that the health of the population is a priority in his government. “We will switch to clean energies as soon as possible so that energy does not destroy life, but rather strengthens it,” he added.
In the trill, the president was responding to the discomfort he expressed by the Alianza Colombia Libre de Fracking. “This is the first time in this path of the PL114 prohibition of Fracking and Unconventional Deposits, that the Congressmen of the traditional parties do not present themselves to the debate in commission V”, stated the organization and indicated that these actions are “a mockery of the territories and nature”.
Gustavo Petro reiterates its commitment to banning fracking. Screenshot
The support from the current administration was also expressed by the Minister of the Environment, Susana Muhamad. “This is a fundamental project for the president, we hope to be able to count on the senate's democratic decision,” the head of ministry pointed out, according to Caracol Radio . congressmen”, said the minister.
The lack of quorum
The president of the Fifth Commission, Inti Asprilla, told the public that 40 minutes had passed from the time set to start the session in which the legislators did not appear. “For the first time we do not have any senator or from the Radical Change, Democratic Center, U Party, Conservative Party and Liberal Party. So there is a high probability that the quorum will not be achieved”said the senator from Alianza Verde.
These were the senators who were absent:
• Democratic Center: Yenny Rozo and Andrés Felipe Guerra.
• Conservative Party: Miguel Ángel Barreto and Marcos Daniel Pineda.
• Party of the U: José David Name.
• Radical Change: Didier Lobo and Edgar Díaz.
• Liberal Party: Jaime Durán.
According to W Radio, although some congressmen who support the initiative assured that it would be an “act of sabotage”, the truth is that it seems that the government caucus is divided on the issue. For this reason, Asprilla will convene sessions every day of the next week until the congressmen fulfill this commitment.
It is important to remember that the Partido de la U, the Conservatives, and the Liberals declared themselves to be part of the government bench, while Cambio Radical stated that it was independent and the opposition Democratic Center. For their part, the Alianza Verde, Pacto Histórico, Comunes parties, among others, have commented that they support the prohibition of the extractivist practice as announced by the administration of Gustavo Petro.
The senator of the Historical Pact Isabel Cristina Zuleta specified that those who are in favor of the initiative are part of the “life and water” caucus. Likewise, he sent a message to the absent parliamentarians: “Some of the senators have expressed that as an act of solidarity with the negative paper that was presented to this project they decide not to attend,” he specified and questioned who really needs that solidarity.
“How can I as an act of solidarity not come? (…) I don't know what the real reasons are for not attending our obligation, because that's what the Colombians chose us for,” she added.