Duque signs the decree regulating seats for victims of the conflict in Colombia

Colombian President Iván Duque this Wednesday signed the decree that regulates the seats in the House of Representatives for the victims of the conflict that came about as a result of the 2016 peace agreement between the government and the now defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

“The decree was signed giving these seats (seats) to the victims with all safeguards, with all safeguards and so that they can have their presence in the Colombian Congress and enforce their rights,” he said.

Duque signs the decree regulating seats for victims of the conflict in Colombia
Duque signs the decree regulating seats for victims of the conflict in Colombia

He declared that “the victims who have been whipped and torn by the violence deserve one vote and one vote in the deliberations of the Colombian Congress”. “We have to guarantee, under everything, that the qualification of the seats for them really benefits the victims and that there is not a single loophole in which the perpetrators want to co-opt them,” he added.

Duque has also stressed through his account on the social network Twitter that “the decree that guarantees seats for the victims and gives them a voice in Congress has come into force”. “We made it clear that they are there for them and that there is no space or gap that allows the perpetrators to occupy these chairs,” he added.

According to the Colombian radio station Caracol Radio, the votes on the occupation of these seats will take place on March 13, 2022.

The decision comes after the Constitutional Court of Colombia ruled in May in favor of the return of 16 seats to the victims of the armed conflict, which were eliminated through a 2017 legislative vote. For example, 16 additional parliamentarians will be elected in the former conflict areas.

The establishment of these districts was included in the peace agreement with the aim of better integration in areas particularly affected by the conflict and as a measure of reparation, and they assumed that the victims would elect 16 representatives temporarily and for two terms.

The seats, so-called Special Transitory Circumscriptions of Peace, will only be occupied in the House of Representatives for the periods 2022-2026 and 2026-2030, as these are pacification measures as part of a comprehensive reparation for the victims.

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