Colombia: Third Term Closer for President Alvaro Uribe
By Andres Gaudin
After nearly two years in which much of Colombia's internal politics has focused on changing the Constitution to allow President Alvaro Uribe to run for a third consecutive term, on Sept. 1, the Congress took a decisive step in support of the president's ambitions. With the approval of a law calling for a referendum on the issue, the only step remaining is for the Corte Constitucional (CC), the electoral authority, to validate the controversial law and set a date for the referendum, in which Colombians will say whether they agree to the constitutional change allowing Uribe to run again in the May 2010 elections.
The final debate took place amid renewed denunciations of corruption, the imprisonment of legislators accused of taking money from drug trafficking and paramilitary groups, and the legal investigation of party leaders--among them Tomas Uribe, son of the president, and ex-Presidents Ernesto Samper (1994-1998) and Andres Pastrana (1998-2002)--and other senators and deputies accused of selling their vote in 2006 to make up the needed majority to pass the amendment allowing Uribe's first re-election. All this amid very tense relations with neighboring countries because of the government's granting the US Southern Command (SOUTHCOM) use of seven air, sea, and land bases (see NotiSur, 2009-07-31).
Uribe keeps intentions under wraps
During that entire time, and until Sept. 9, when the law was signed and …
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Publication information: Article title: Colombia: Third Term Closer for President Alvaro Uribe. Contributors: Not available. Magazine title: NotiSur - South American Political and Economic Affairs. Publication date: September 18, 2009. Page number: Not available. © 2009 Latin American Data Base/Latin American Institute. COPYRIGHT 2009 Gale Group.
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