Saturday, September 18, 2021

Colombian Congress endorses peace agreement with FARC by absolute majority

People supporting the agreement with the FARC guerrilla group wait outside the Congress facilities in Bogota, Colombia, 30 November 2016. The Colombian Deputies Chamber is debating passing the new peace agreement with the FARC signed on 24 November 2016. EFE

People supporting the agreement with the FARC guerrilla group wait outside the Congress facilities in Bogota, Colombia, 30 November 2016. The Colombian Deputies Chamber is debating passing the new peace agreement with the FARC signed on 24 November 2016. EFE

Bogota, Nov 30 (EFE).- The House of Representatives of Colombia on Wednesday evening endorsed, by an absolute majority, the peace agreement signed on Nov. 24 between the Government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), after it was also overwhelmingly approved in the Senate on Tuesday.

With 130 votes in favor and none against, the House plenary, which has 166 seats, endorsed the second peace pact reached by the parties to end 52 years of armed conflict, removing the last hurdle to proceed with its implementation.

“Gratitude to Congress for historic support of the hope for peace of the Colombians,” Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos wrote on his Twitter account.

General view of a session of the House of Representatives of the Colombian Government, where it will be decided if the House of Representatives approve the new peace agreement between the Colombian Government and FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, on 30 November 2016. EFE

General view of a session of the House of Representatives of the Colombian Government, where it will be decided if the House of Representatives approve the new peace agreement between the Colombian Government and FARC, in Bogota, Colombia, on 30 November 2016. EFE

The opposition, Democratic Center, led by the former president Alvaro Uribe, withdrew from the discussion at the time of voting.

Meanwhile, the Minister of Interior, Juan Fernando Cristo, wrote on Twitter that with 130 votes in favor and zero against, the new peace agreement is approved and “has been endorsed and ready for implementation.”

Legislative approval came amid a heated debate in which the government’s side was represented by the chief negotiator of the government, Humberto de la Calle, who reiterated that “57 of the 60 changes to the peace agreement proposed by the ‘No’ campaign have been incorporated into the new document.”

President Santos and the FARC’s top leader, Rodrigo Londono, alias “Timochenko”, on Nov 24 signed the peace agreement at the Colon Theater in Bogota which incorporated most of the proposals from the supporters of the “No” side , after the first peace agreement was narrowly rejected in the Oct. 2 plebiscite.