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Colombia’s Government Coalition Cracks

Conservative and progressive liberals are threatening to leave the congressional coalition of President Gustavo Petro.

In an open letter to the president, Liberal Party leader Cesar Gaviria said that “we will move to a position of independence.”

The Liberal Party is the main coalition partner of Petro’s progressive Historic Pact party with 14 seats in the Senate and 32 in the House of Representatives.

In order to leave the coalition, Cesar will have to convince the majority of Liberal Party members to support his initiative to declare independence from the government coalition.

The Green Alliance party, Petro’s second largest coalition partner with 13 senators and 11 representatives, is set to meet on Monday to decide whether or not it will remain in the coalition.

Prominent Green lawmakers have urged party members to abandon the coalition over persistent disagreements over the government’s reform agenda and chaotic peace policies.

The Green Alliance’s faction is mainly unhappy because of the government’s proposal to reform Colombia’s public health system.

Gaviria, who was president between 1990 and 1994, also expressed discontent about Health Minister Guillermo Alfonso Jaramillo.

In his letter, the Liberal Party leader also said to be unhappy about the fact Petro’s decision to sack liberal ministers from the cabinet.

The president replaced liberal ministers for loyal politicians over their party’s lack of support for the government’s reform proposals.

If both parties decide to leave the coalition, Petro would lose the majority in Congress, which could further complicate the government’s ability to push through its progressive reforms.

The president has had trouble getting effective political support from his coalition partners ever since taking office in August last year.

Source : Colombia Reports