Narco-State Democracy: Colombia’s Duque to Extend His Term ‘Due to COVID-19’

Colombian president Iván Duque’s initiative to postpone the elections has caused controversy and doubt. If the proposal is accepted, Duque’s term would be extended for two more years.

Different sectors of Colombian politics have classified it as a “parliamentary coup.” As an excuse, Duque’s proposal uses the saving of resources for vaccination against COVID-19.

The proposal

Gilberto Toro, Executive Director of the Colombian Federation of Municipalities, argued that the proposal is being made to save resources allocated for the electoral process. According to Toro, these resources are necessary for the immunization plan.

“It costs us a lot of money at a time when we must focus on the fundamental right to life and health of Colombians,” added Executive Director of the Colombian Federation of Municipalities, Gilberto Toro.

The Colombian Federation of Municipalities and Departments, among other private and government entities, are proposing holding mega elections in 2024.

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Critics point out the irony of Duque’s proposal

An international expert told Orinoco Tribune, “while neighboring Venezuela, blockaded and under US sanctions, held elections last December, and is planning to schedule elections for governors by December 2021—without complaining about a lack of resources, besides the natural condemnation of the US blockade—the Colombian narco-state headed by Alvaro Uribe, using Iván Duque as a puppet, now wants to violate the Colombian constitution and illegally extend his mandate.”

“It is incredible and yet more evidence of Colombian political shamelessness that, while having one of the worst COVID-19 crises in the region, especially because they have done almost nothing to strengthen the healthcare system and take care of Colombians’ health responsibly, at the same time they’re going begging around the world to receive humanitarian financial assistance to take care of Venezuelans that barely see any sort of help from the Colombian government and paradoxically are being excluded from receiving the vaccine, and dare to use COVID-19 as an excuse to perpetuate in power,” the expert added, while wondering how those leaders dare to talk about democracy in Venezuela.

Some Colombian personalities have rejected this proposal. Senator Gustavo Petro described it as a “parliamentary coup.”

Senator Antonio Sanguino, Member of Commission II and Co-Chair of the Peace Commission, described the proposal as “typical rehash.”

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For his part, Rafael Martínez, Mayor of Santa Marta, during the period 2016-2019, expressed on his Twitter account: “If the priority is to save lives and save money, the urgent thing is that the Duque government ends.”

Former Vice President Humberto de la Calle, pointed to the proposal to postpone the elections as a “coup, an abuse and a gross violation of the Constitution.”

The management of the current president of Colombia, Iván Duque, is being strongly criticized due to its policies for managing the pandemic. This has added to the increase in massacres and assassinations of social leaders and ex-combatants under the peace agreement.

In addition, in recent days the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE) reported on the reduction of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 6.8%.

 

Featured image: Tricky Duque using COVID-19 as an excuse to extend his term. (File photo)

(RedRadioVE) with Orinoco Tribune content

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/JRE/OH

 

Patricia Ferrer
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