Unproductiveness marks the middle of the ninth term of Congress

Today concludes the second period of ordinary sessions in Congress. The work done does not even reach 20 decrees.

The Legislature will go into recess, the district deputies will return to their departments and will wait for the new term, on January 14, 2022.

The culmination of this parliamentary phase also marks the middle of the ninth term: two years of political activity in which analysts see few results in favor of social demands.

The long-awaited economic reactivation was not reflected in Congress. Although it was part of some speeches, all the proposals focused on its consolidation were not approved.

The deputies also failed to define the election of magistrates of the Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ), postponed since 2019, and whose inaction, according to some criteria, could be classified as a violation of the Magna Carta.

The first half of the ninth legislature ends with the presidency of Allan Rodríguez, representative of Sololá.

The scarce political dialogue with the opposition, almost unilateral legislative agendas and accusations for buying votes in key sessions for the Executive have accompanied Rodríguez in his tenure in high office.

Political setback

In two years, the headquarters of Congress has been the scene of two fires by groups of protesters, demonstrating the social disagreement to which politicians are unable to respond.

Edie Cux, director of Citizen Action (AC), considers that in these first two years the Legislative Organism has not met social demands.

“We can qualify that Congress has not done a good job, it is practically wasted time, because it is not seen anywhere that it meets the basic needs of the population. States of Calamity, a larger budget, were approved, but the population does not see any change in their daily life and there are no strong programs that are promoted by the Legislature ”, he expressed.

A good part of this problem is the responsibility of the presidency of the organization, since from there the necessary tools should have been sought to support citizens, he added.

“From 1 to 10 I would give Allan Rodríguez 1, the lowest rating, because this can be classified as one of the worst congresses in the last 20 years. There is no law that benefits the population ”, remarked Cux.

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Low production

During the year, the Legislature has issued 17 decrees, including emergency measures for the pandemic at the request of the Presidency, which shows few results in favor of citizens, says Carmen López, director of Convergence Citizen of Women. In his opinion, many projects for justice, children and for the economy itself were shelved.

“It seems to us that the management of this Congress has been disastrous. Many important laws have remained for the advancement of the country, but mainly they let another year pass without complying with the Constitution for the election of the courts (…) The role of Congress is sad, because its last action was the approval of a budget and the handover of a highway project as a concession, ”he explained.

Likewise, she agrees that this is due, to a large extent, to the leadership from the presidency of the body, which according to her focused only on the benefit of the political class.

“I am a teacher and I think I would not give Rodríguez a point, I would give him zero. Instead of trying to make Congress better, there is no change. What’s more, he went back to the previous legislature, he’s worse off, ”he said.

Lost time

Jorge Wong, an independent political analyst, estimates that Rodríguez only focused on responding to the situation with temporary measures, without prioritizing one of the many problems that Guatemalan families face.

“Blame it on the pandemic or any other situation, but there was no work that was relevant to say that Congress met the needs of the population with the creation of laws for the country to move forward. There were reactive measures, rather than depth, for a change in the country ”, he argued.

In Wong’s opinion, the work that Rodríguez did at the head of the Legislature was little. “I think they are positions that are only filled with anyone who is willing to take the role with the permission of doing what the Government says. Nothing justifies that nothing is done in such an important position for the country. History will judge ”, he added.

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Lights and shadows

José Echeverría, from the National Civic Movement, is of the opinion that the reforms to the Procurement Law is one of the shadows that weighs the most on this Congress, where he highlighted the work and pressure of civil society to prevent the changes from charging validity.

Although there were attempts at positive legislation, according to him it is difficult for Congress to receive a good rating.

“Something that could be positive was the recent approval of the public-private alliance. However, it has been on the agenda since the last legislature. Then, neither would I take it as an achievement, management or exclusive impulse of this legislature, “said Echeverría.

In addition, he believes that not only Rodriguez should be evaluated but the entire Board of Directors. “The qualification must be to the entire board of directors. It is true that he is the president and I believe that if he is deficient, I would give him a 5 for management issues, convocation and the minimum operation of Congress, with successes and mistakes ”.


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