Sunday, June 4, 2023

Electoral code reform moves forward in its second debate in the Senate

The National Registrar, Alexander Vega, has been one of the main promoters of the reform of the Electoral Code.

Electoral code reform is in its final stages: before next June 20, when the current legislature expires, it must complete four debates to become law. Otherwise, the project will languish, as being a statutory bill, it cannot be discussed in additional sessions.

After it was approved by the Senate’s first committee in its first debate in April, the project reaches the full session for its second discussion this Tuesday. The initiative is promoted by the national government, by the Registry and by some congressmen, but has been strongly criticized for its lack of guarantees that it will go to the polls in Colombia.

What was approved in this second debate is one of the most controversial points and one that has been rejected by various sectors: the article that gives the National Registrar exclusive power to determine the security conditions and characteristics of IDs. Is.

This point has been questioned by organizations such as the Electoral Observation Mission (MOE), which recently warned that it is against the Constitutional Court’s pronouncement that it is the function of the Congress of the Republic. “If the provision proposed in the draft code is adopted, it will be in contravention of the Constitutional Court judgment of last April 20 regarding regulation of identity. It is important to note that the High Court has made it clear that regulation is reserved for Congress, because it involves the handling of sensitive information of all citizens, which must be guaranteed and given special protection,” Marlon Pabon, coordinator of public administration and transparency of the MOE, said recently.

But another one of the fundamental points of reform was also approved by the plenary session this Tuesday: the mixed electronic voting, As per the way it was approved, it will be implemented from the year 2029 and will not be mandatory, but will be done progressively.

One of the points approved by the plenary is the reclassification of the position of municipal registrar, which will move from a technical level to a professional level.

But at the same time, one of the most controversial articles of the project was mired in debate: that of registration, according to which citizens were supposed to inform the registrar about changes in their address within the next two months. Failure to do so, the article said, would attract a penalty of half the current minimum monthly wage.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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