Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Four months until Colombia’s Election: Is President Uribe already running?

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on January 21, 2010

by Mateo Samper, for Americas Quarterly, January 21, 2010.

It’s hard to believe that President Uribe won’t run for a third term after more than two years of keeping the country in political limbo. In yet another sign that he wants to be re-elected for a third term, he is now stopping the TV transmission of his weekly communal council meetings in towns across Colombia. This may yet be another signal that he does not want to have an unfair advantage over other candidates. Could his “soul” no longer be at the crossroads?

Not quite. He still hasn’t stated he is going to run. And yet, there are many practical reasons why he should not be able to do so—unless he unabashedly disregards the law.

In Colombia, the law says that candidates have until March 12 to register their candidacy for the May 30presidential elections. For President Uribe to meet the deadline, he has to overcome some hurdles that many believe are practically insurmountable.

First, the Constitutional Court (CC) has to decide whether the re-election referendum—the first step since the constitution only permits two consecutive terms in office—is constitutional. Based on their usual procedural timeframes, their decision should not be expected any sooner than mid or late February—and that is pushing it…(continue reading)

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