Nuevas Ideas agrees that the same legislature will ratify constitutional reforms

Nuevas Ideas agrees that the same legislature will ratify constitutional reforms

The New Ideas Commission requested the reform by waiving the procedures in the last plenary session of the current legislature, violating the sentences indicating the deadline for the reforms.

By a majority of 66 votes, the Council of Nuevas Ideas and its allies agreed in their last plenary session and with exemption from procedure, to reform the Constitution of the Republic in the article stating that changes to the Magna Carta must be approved by two legislative chambers, despite the ban imposed by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) regarding deadlines.

According to sentences 7-2012 and 33-2015, reforming the constitution must be part of the platform of proposals in the legislative elections, as part of the stage of informing the population, and this should not be done when the election results appear. The elections are already tight.

Before the consideration of opinions began, Representative Rodrigo Ayala, from Nuevas Ideas, called for amending the agenda and approving the reform of the second paragraph of Article 248 of the Constitution while waiving the procedures.

Currently, this article stipulates that it is permissible to agree on reforming the constitution by the Legislative Council, by a majority of half plus one of the elected representatives, which is a simple majority, which in this case is 43 votes.

The second paragraph indicates that “in order for a decree regarding this reform to be issued, it must be approved by the next legislative council” by a vote of two-thirds of the elected representatives, that is, a qualified majority of 56 votes. He concluded, “Consequently, after its ratification, its decree will be issued, which will be published in the Official Gazette.”

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The proposal states: “For any reform to be enacted, it must be ratified in the next Legislative Assembly by a two-thirds majority or by the Legislative Assembly itself by a vote of three-quarters of the elected representatives, once ratified.” It is sent for publication.

With this change, in the next 60-seat legislature, a simple majority will be 31 votes, a qualified majority will be 40 votes, and an absolute or three-quarters majority will be 45 votes for elected representatives. It should be noted that the Nuevas Ideas party is the only party that has 54 seats for the next period, and therefore will be able to make changes to the constitution on its own.

The reform initiative was signed by Ernesto Castro, Suisi Callejas, Rodrigo Ayala, Cristian Guevara, Elisa Rosales, Ana Figueroa, Alexia Rivas, Rubén Flores, William Soriano, and Raúl Castillo.

The constitutional reform initiative was presented by ten deputies from Nuevas Ideas

According to the draft read in the plenary session, the text was maintained that states that the reform can only be proposed by at least ten deputies.

The articles of the Constitution that refer to the form and system of government, the territory of the Republic, and rotation in exercising the presidency of the Republic cannot be reformed in any way.

It violates the provisions

There were 16 votes against the constitutional reform by opposition representatives.

Marcela Villatoro, from the Arena party, did not support the reform, which she considered “bad” and described as a “very bad message” to carry out constitutional reform by waiving procedures. He stressed that the time for reform had passed, according to two unconstitutional rulings 7-2012 and 33-2015, and that the reform procedure had to be implemented in the legislative elections program.

Claudia Ortiz, of Vamos, and John Wright Saul, of Nuestro Tiempo, voted against waiving the proceedings. Photo: EDH/Emerson del Cid

“It was already too late to do and start this process,” he added. “People did not know, because the election was already underway, that this was part of the electoral proposal for the next legislature,” he added.

Marcela Villatoro, Arena's deputy

Representative Claudia Ortiz, from Vamos, expressed that on the last day of the legislature “the last piece of your mask falls off.”

He considered that the only amendments that should be focused on are reforms that give more rights to people and place more restrictions on power. “But that's not what's happening here,” he added.

He added that it is “legislation” that removes the limits of authority and places itself “above the rights of the people.”

He even wondered if the next person wanted to make rights-restricting reforms, would he be able to do so.

“They are putting the power on their own. Aren’t you ashamed? They should be ashamed, because this constitutes a betrayal of the people.”

Claudia Ortiz, Vamos actress

John Wright Saul, of Nuestro Tiempo, called the reform debate “a mere formality” and said it is an amendment to constitutional reform procedures that “goes too far” and that the 2021-2024 legislature ends up violating the constitution.

“A single legislature will have the power to change the constitution. For the first time in our history, the constituent power will be given to an assembly without the direct support of the population for this purpose,” he said.

Cesar Reyes, from Arena, stressed the need to carry out reforms before the elections. “The intention is for the reforms to be presented as proposals by politicians. They must be known to the population and must have a high content of discussion and debate,” he explained.

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Citizen Action also issued a reaction to the reform via its social networks, noting that an important counterweight had been removed.

Aygen Marsh

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