Colombian re-election referendum unconstitutional: court

Colombia’s Constitutional Court President Mauricio Gonz├ílez announced Feb. 26 that the court had voted 7 to 2 against the proposed referendum to allow President Alvaro Uribe to run for a third term, calling the idea “unconstitutional in its entirety.” Gonz├ílez said the court struck down law 1354-2009, created by the government in order to call the referendum. The ruling not only blocks Uribe from seeking a third consecutive term, but from ever running to regain the presidency.

In addition to finding the referendum unconstitutional, the court found numerous irregularities in its preparation. Funding received to finance the referendum was 30 times over the legal financial cap. Following the collection of necessary signatures, the Senate improperly changed the text of the referendum, disregarding a previous vote in the lower Chamber of Deputies to barring such after-the-fact changes. Gonzalez said the court ruled this to be unconstitutional. (Colombia News, Feb. 26)

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