Political reform: “mico” would make the Attorney General's Office unable to sanction officials elected by vote

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The paper presented in the House of Representatives by Heraclito Landinez, representative of the Historical Pact, includes a 'mico' that proposes modifying article 40 of the Constitution , so that only a judge of the Republic can limit the political rights of popularly elected citizens

Political reform: ‘mico’ would prevent the Attorney General's Office from sanctioning officials elected by vote

According to the presentation filed by a representative of the Historical Pact, the modification of the article is given to “harmonize the Political Constitution with the international order in the matter of Human Rights and abide by the sentences of the International Court in the matter of political rights.” Photo: REUTERS/Nathalia Angarita

On Thursday, November 17, the paper was filed for the third debate on political reform that is taking place in the Congress of the Republic, text which would include a proposal that could arouse controversy, since it states that the Attorney General's Office cannot sanction officials elected by vote.

The presentation, based in the House of Representatives for Heraclito Landinez, from the Historical Pact, seeks to modify article 40 of the Constitution so that, if the reform is approved, it is a judge of the Republic who can curtail or limit the political rights of popularly elected officials:

“With the exception of the sanction of loss of investiture, the limitations of the political rights of people may only be issued by a competent judicial authority in criminal proceedings”, so the article is intended to remain.

According to information from El Tiempo, the modification of the article is given to “harmonize the Political Constitution with the international order in matters of Human Rights and abide by the sentences of the International Court in matters of political rights.”

It is important to remember that one of these sentences returned, at the time, Gustavo Petro to the Bogotá Mayor's Office, after having been dismissed by former attorney Alejandro Ordóñez for changes in the garbage collection model in the Colombian capital.

The paper also contemplates lowering the age so that Colombians can be elected as congressmen. The obligation to vote is also included, as well as the second round for the election of mayors of capital cities.

Another novelty included in the paper has to do with the financing of political campaigns, which, as stated in the document, will be mainly state-owned.

It is worth mentioning that in the paper , according to information from El Tiempo, the extension of the presidential term was not included, nor that of Congress, governorships, assemblies, mayoralties and councils.

These are the concerns of Transparency for Colombia on political reform

The non-governmental organization Transparencia por Colombia, in recent days, after participating in the public hearings that accompany the processing of the political reform bill, issued a series of concerns and made a “call to congressmen to promote, discuss and adopt projects that aim at the incorporation of structural adjustments from which the needs of the country are met.”

One of the points that worries the NGO has to do with the possible modifications to article 109 of the Constitution, on closed and joint lists, because although they agree with the change, it warns that “it must be taken into account that, by making adjustments to the principles that underpin political financing and public accountability”,

From the NGO they argue that with the changes proposed in the reform “not only the way of managing the financing of closed lists is affected, but also all other forms of participation in electoral contests, such as those of single-member positions, or campaigns of internal consultations”.

Regarding financing, Transparencia por Colombia is concerned that the discussion has simply been reduced to the proposition that it be “preponderantly public”, ignoring substantive elements like:

“Opportunity and equity in access to public resources, control of private contributions, particularly when they correspond to the candidate's own resources and their family members or to credits granted to natural and legal persons other than the banking sector, or the destination of operating resources. of parties to effectively increase the political inclusion of women.”

Finally, it also draws attention to the importance of articulating political reform with the Electoral Code project, since “some Some of the issues that are being included in this political reform statutory bill may be contradictory with what is stipulated in the Code, for example with the changes associated with campaign financing and accountability.”

Below you can read the report on the intervention of Transparencia por Colombia during the public hearings of the political reform: