Colombia's FARC rejects referendum on peace accord

Colombia's FARC rebels on Monday, in an open letter to the government, rejected a congressional plan to submit a prospective peace accord to a referendum.
"We, the parties at the dialogue table, are those authorized to define the system of authentication that will be applied to the accords that ultimately may be reached," FARC chief Ivan Marquez said, reading the letter to the press in Havana, the venue of the peace process between the guerrillas and the Colombian government.
The No. 2 man in the insurgency said that under the constitution a plebiscite is the pronouncement of the people via which a government decision may be approved or rejected, and so it is not valid in the case of peace accords, which are the result of a "bilateral process of conversations between the FARC and the Colombian state."
"What is agreed to at the peace table in Havana must not be confused with a decision taken by the government," Marquez insisted.
The guerrillas, who want a constituent assembly as the means whereby the accord is approved, reiterated that the referendum being pushed by the government is "a political and legal mistake" that has not been agreed to at the talks.
"The final agreement that will bring peace to Colombia, which is being constructed with so much care and sacrifice, must not be put in danger by political glibness," the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, said.
The guerrilla group announced that it will send the letter to the government with copies to the Constitutional Court, the Congress, the government's peace delegation and the representatives of the guarantor nations and other countries attending the peace process: Cuba, Norway, Venezuela and Chile. EFE



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