When directing plenary sessions, he managed times and moments to hold together government coalitions in debates such as tax reform or the National Development Plan. Those were passed earlier than the House of Representatives. And without breaking ties with independent and opposition sectors.
“You have to recognize his experience, restraint and his interest in doing a balanced exercise in the end. I had many disagreements with him because he didn’t respect independence and opposition, but in the end he realized it and complied,” says Senator David Luna of the Cambio Radicals, who clashed several times with Barreras at the plenary.
The Barres Court sampler was recently seen at PND to manage full sessions. Congressmen from the opposition and government allies, such as La Yu and the Conservatives, called for the article creating the Regional Water Council to be rejected. He argued that these councils could interfere with projects and actions, or in other cases, appropriate the actions of the CAR.
The article was saved with a vote of 37 to 31 thanks to the ability to close the vote when the numbers were in his favor and many in the opposition missed doing so.
Guarantees in debate, key to Congressional relations with the parties, were seen, for example, in dealing with and coordinating with the speakers. The liberal Miguel Pinto, his first vice president, says, “It was Pole on the ground who called several times for calm.”
This relationship with traditional parties distanced them from the Pact benches, making several calls to the government. “He was becoming the head of the opposition,” Senator Alexander López said of him. A few plenary sessions later, Senator Wilson Arias complained that Barreras spoke more to the opposition than to his own bench.
But in contrast to their defeats in the recent past, they won great victories under Barrera’s leadership at the beginning of the Congress. Because institutionalization, what he defined in his political career as “liberal social democracy”, challenged the norms.
Starting with his decision to aspire to the Senate for a party because he was not elected.
The institutions accused him of his “political expediency”.
Barreras leaves Congress punished by justice. Although he stated that he still planned to retire soon to devote himself to his health issues, it was a mistake that triggered that change and not his own decision.
Roy tried to cross the data of political parties by taking advantage of electoral legal loopholes. First being expelled from La U to be free to oppose Ivan Duke’s government, and then being included in the Senate’s list of historic treaties.
This, under the rationale that there was no such rule in the country that punished his unprecedented move.
The Council of State closed the gap, which was also sought by other politicians, in the 2022 elections, applying nullification for the election of the President of the Senate. The decision of the Fifth Chamber indicates, in essence, that the seats belong to the parties, not the Congressmen, and that being expelled from one party is not sufficient to switch to another.
In other words, if Barreras wanted to make his departure from La U official in order to join the agreement, yes or no, he would have to resign the seat a year before registration. Thus, La Yu could have filled that vacancy with someone else, but he would have been left without seats, microphones and spaces to continue politics.
Paradoxically, Barreras reinforces the thesis that the institutionality represented by political parties is above individual stakes, as he intended to do.
and to change the rules of the game
Barrera is also leaving the Congress on charges of illegal moves. The decision of the Council of State that thwarted the election of Comptroller General Carlos Rodríguez places him as one of those responsible.
The decision was based on two irregularities, which were attributed to the board of directors headed by Roy Barreras after the new Congress was installed.
The first relates to the date of the session in which Rodríguez was elected. The second irregularity, and “most serious” in the words of the ruling, is that Barreras’ board of directors redrawn the list of finalists to influence the election.
The senator fell into these irregularities by intentionally wanting to modify a contest, according to the ruling. When he assumed the presidency, lawyer María Fernanda Rangel – an ally of the outgoing Carlos Felipe Córdoba – was almost elected.
Barreras, wielding one of his powers, re-adjusted the process and allowed lawyer Carlos Rodríguez to enter the final list, who had Petro’s wink, and finally dismantled Rangel’s strategy.
This was not his first time as a hero in elections involving other powers. Ten years earlier, in his first presidency of the Senate as a senator from La U, Barreras was also instrumental in the process of re-election of lawyer Alejandro Ordóñez.
On this occasion that ploy failed and actually ended in reprimand. “What makes the situation even more serious is that these changes occurred after the results of the knowledge test and the evaluation of resumes were already known,” says the decision overturning Comptroller Rodriguez.
he was beaten before
Seeking power outside Congress was already contrary to Barreras. In the election of magistrates of the National Electoral Council, CNE, which took place last year, the senator tried to place his ally, the lawyer Álvaro Echeverri, in one of the two places that corresponded to the historical treaty based on numbers.
He managed to put him in second place on the barbell, but the bench bounced, especially Chamber’s. He had to give up and bring Etcheverry to third place. Nevertheless, he was about to meet that goal, but the Democratic Center’s last-minute alliance with Congressmen Rodolfo Hernández and the Anti-Corruption League allowed Uribista Álvaro Hernán Prada to receive the minimum number of votes to finish ninth. Gave. Place.
The momentum of early victories under Barreras’ leadership also began to run out of steam with one of his passions: political reform. It was a government-promoted project and Barreras devoted a good part of the legislature to bringing it to its successful conclusion.
During the process, he made concessions to guarantee the parties’ political support: turncoats, preference for existing Congressmen on the closed list, the possibility to jump from Congressmen to ministers. In some meeting with the media, he justified these changes as a “survival mechanism” so that current Congressmen are not affected and can get on the bus. This drew criticism from his backbench colleagues and alternative sectors.
The agony of political reform in the First Committee of the Senate lasted 24 hours with Barreras as the main protagonist.
(Tags to translate) Congress (T) Roy Barreras