Representatives of the Colombian House are afraid to vote in favor of the
referendum needed to re-elect President Alvaro Uribe after the Supreme Court
opened a criminal investigation into the possibly illegal approval of
the referendum during a previous vote, newspaper El Espectador reported
If the Supreme Court decides to allow the Prosecution to charge the lawmakers, every member of the coalition in the House could lose his/her seat, something the newspaper said is causing the legislators to back out on their support for the referendum in the last round of voting on the bill; that in an inter-chamber commission.
According to Partido de la U Representative Luis Salas, “the Court put the brake on the referendum and nobody will vote for it.”
“We are afraid to lose our investiture for ten years. This is a conflict between the President and the Court and we are not going to lose our seats over it,” the lawmaker continued.
The High Courts and the Presidency have been in bad blood for a long time. The Supreme Court is currently awaiting results from the Prosecutor General’s Office about the illegal wiretapping of magistrates by intelligence service DAS that are suspected to be ordered by the Presidency. Uribe in return accuses the Court of having ties to criminals and has tried pushing legislation that would take investigations into lawmakers with alleged ties to paramilitary death squads away from the court.