Colombia’s electoral authority announced Wednesday it would be canceling this year’s political parties’ primaries, previously scheduled to take place in late September.
The internal referendums in Colombia are votes held within political party structures to determine candidates and vet policy decisions, coalitions and other organizational matters.
The practice has come under widespread criticism, however, because of the high costs it presents for the State and the lack of tournout.
This year’s referendums were set to be the venue to test the electronic voting system Colombia hopes to implement ahead of next year’s presidential elections, but after the Citizens’ Option and Conservative parties announced they would not be participating, the electoral authorities gave in to popular sentiment and decided to cancel the referendums outright.
In a statement released to the press, Colombia’s electoral body said, “Keeping in mind that the Citizens’ Option party made public its petition to cancel the internal referendums […] and that the Conservative Party officially withdrew, the Advisory Board for the Implementation of Electronic Voting agreed to present different proposals for the gradual implementation of electronic voting, even though there will not be internal referendums for the political parties in 2013.”