Colombia’s highest administrative court has deemed Senator Roy Barreras’ election unlawful, opening the way for additional members to be removed from their seats.
The Council of State determined that Barreras, the Senate’s current president and a key supporter of President Gustavo Petro’s reform agenda in Congress, did not leave his old political party in time to run for election for his new party.
The senator failed to fulfill “his duty to resign his seat 12 months before the registration deadline for congressional elections for the period 2022-2026,” according to the court.
Between 2018 through 2022, Barreras served as a congressman for the Union Party for the People, but was re-elected in March 2022 as a senator for the Historic Pact for Colombia, the socialist alliance led by Petro.
Barreras stated on Twitter that he will follow the decision because “court rulings must be respected even when they seem unjust to me.”
As Senate President, Barreras has supported important measures proposed by Petro since assuming office nine months ago, including efforts to raise taxes on the wealthy.
Petro has also advocated for reforms in labor legislation, healthcare, pensions, the judiciary, and the energy sector in order to shift away from fossil fuels.
The ruling is the latest reverse for Petro, who last week faced a revolt by three political parties who said they could no longer support his reform drive.
Responding to the revolt, Petro replaced seven members of his Cabinet, including his finance minister, and warned Congress of a “revolution” if it doesn’t approve his reform plans.