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Friday, October 30, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

Via Reuters:  Colombia re-election ruling could take months:

"It could be done in January or early February, but it could take more time," said Nilson Pinilla, head of the Constitutional Court, which is reviewing the proposal.

In an interview with Reuters on Thursday, Pinilla described 18-hour work days in which he and eight other judges examine more than 100,000 pages of documents related to the case.

A ruling after mid-February could make it hard for authorities to organize a referendum in time for the president to win permission to run in the May election.

This has been a remarkably slow-motion process and in which the clock may run out on Uribe even if the referendum eventually passes.

Still, one could envision a rush both in terms of holding the referendum during the March congressional elections and in terms of the congress passing legislation to allow late entries for candidacies.

"If the court rules in his favor by mid-February, the referendum will probably pass and Uribe will run and win because, in practical terms, he has been campaigning for this since he was first elected in 2002," said Mauricio Romero, political scientist at Bogota’s Javeriana University.

Indeed, there is little doubt that should he make it onto the ballot that he will win.  One suspects that he would win in a landslide, in fact.

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