Two aspects of the law were deemed unconstitutional and therefore amended. One enabled changes to parts of the deal brought before congressional committee, allowing plenary votes to be approved or denied in a single vote. The other prohibited congressional changes to laws under discussion, not without the approval of the government. With the court’s decision, all changes to legislation proposed in legislative committee votes or plenary votes will have to be voted on individually. Any congressman now can also request changes, which in turn will have to be studied by Congress.
This development is a threat to the peace deal because of its timing. The second round of voting in the presidential election will occur in June 2018. The government will give up power to its successor in August 2018. This leaves slightly over a year to approve the deal. But politicians opposing to the deal, such as those from the Democratic Center, can use the court’s changes to delay final approval, taking issue with any aspects of the peace agreement they disagree with, such as legislation underpinning land reform, or the transitional justice courts that would grant FARC members amnesty.
There’s now a very real prospect that the opposition will deliberately attempt to present as many changes as possible to try to stall the deal’s final approval, at least until the next administration. If they threaten to or actually delay implementation, the government would have to negotiate with the Democratic Center and other politicians opposed to the deal, potentially compromising on it. Otherwise, the deal would face a slow process of attrition as challenges to it pile up in Congress. Ultimately, aspects of the final agreement could end up being changed. And then the FARC would have to decide whether it wants to accept such a modified deal. The FARC is unlikely to give up on the peace agreement easily: It’s spent five years negotiating it. But the deal’s opponents have now been handed a critical tool with which to influence parts of the deal’s passage. Stratfor Worldview