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Wednesday, September 2, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

El Tiempo reports: Congreso dio vía libre a segunda reelección de Uribe ["Congress Clears the Way for a Second Reelection"]

According to the piece the vote was 85-5 (like the Senate vote, there were a number of abstentions-the chamber holds 166 members). It now goes to Uribe for his signature and then to the Constitutional Court for review. The Court will have a maximum of three months to determine if the referendum as passed is constitutional. Assuming that it passes review (which seems likely), the referendum will probably be held in March, at the same time at congressional elections. Presidential elections will be held in May. The tight timing means that it will not be known for certain whether Uribe can be a candidate until only a few months before the elections, which places the entire 2010 presidential campaign in a strange limbo.

I remain nonplussed that the measure passed, only in the sense that for it to have done so, it had to get votes from parties which will be offering (or were planning to offer) candidates for president. The vote for the referendum was, for all practical purposes, a vote against the interests of their own parties. Five votes along these lines make sense, insofar as five members of Cambio Radical quit the party and joined La U, but that doesn’t explain some of the other votes, which had to include members of the Partido Conservador. I have not yet seen an exact breakdown of the vote, however.

Beyond any of this, while on the one hand the process has been constitutional and democratic, the alteration of a country’s fundamental law twice now for the political advantage of one man, even a popular one, is problematic. More on that later, one suspects.

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One Response to “#Colombia: Reelection Referendum Passes”

  1. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » #Colombia: The Timing of the Referendum and its Implications Says:

    [...] my initial write-up on the now-approved referendum that may lead to the re-election of Álavro Uribe, I noted that there was speculation that the [...]


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