President Juan Manuel Santos announced that Congress is scheduled to meet to define a bill allowing that possible peace agreements can be presented on a date coinciding with next elections. Referring to talks with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP), he said that “the process is making progress.
We have the responsibility, the obligation to anticipate any instance that is necessary if agreements are reached, so that, as we have reiterated in every fora, it is the Colombian people who have the final say about them,” he said.
The Colombian Government and FARC-EP have been in talks since 2012 in Cuba to put an end to the over-fifty-year long armed, political and social conflict in the country.
“Due to the time required for approval of statutory laws, there is a bill we have considered necessary to present to Congress with an urgent message to facilitate the process of signing of the agreements,” said Santos.
According to the president, that possibility is currently banned by law. But “we have considered it would be appropriate to lift that ban, that restriction for this specific case, just in case we reach agreements in the talks in Havana.
He explained that the “statutory bill is very simple; it has three articles, only saying that the constitutional referendum, in case a final agreement is reached to end the armed conflict, can coincide with other electoral acts.”