Colombian liquor stores closed Saturday as Colombia take to the polls on Sunday to vote in local elections that have been preceded by violence and attempts by illegal armed groups to influence the outcome.
On Sunday, Colombia’s 31 million eligible voters have the chance to cast their ballots, but after 6PM Colombia’s electoral code mandates a “dry law,” prohibiting the sale and consumption of alcohol until 6AM Monday.
As stated in Article 206 of the Electoral Code, the sale and consumption of alcohol is strictly prohibited starting the day before the election lasting until the day following the end of the voting period.
“They are norms for conserving public order during the election period,” Colombia’s Minister of the Interior German Vargas Lleras had said.
According to Vargas Lleras, the country’s authorities have everything in place to guarantee safety and order during Sunday’s local elections
Despite the long-standing law, President Juan Manuel Santos proposed earlier this year that the rigid alcohol ban be limited to a smaller time frame, starting Sunday at 3AM instead of Saturday.
Santos stated that “we’re mature enough for these changes,” however, his request wasn’t approved.
In addition to a temporary prohibition, there are also regulations in place that prohibit the transportation of arms in order to protect voters, lasting Friday, October 28, through November 2.
International borders will also be closed on election day, from 8AM Sunday until the close of polls at 6PM, and there are over 330,000 army troops and police officials dispersed throughout Colombia in an attempt to keep the voter peace over the weekend.