Colombia’s Constitutional Court does not rule out the possibility that the re-election referendum could go through a shortened review procedure as time for the popular vote is running out.
Court president Nilson Pinilla told Caracol Radio on Monday that the high court has not yet discussed the possibility for a shortened review process for the popular vote, but will do so next week after the Court returns from Cartagena, where it takes part in the 16th Congress of Latin-American Constitutional Courts.
Pinilla denied allegations that the court’s referendum ruling is “in the pocket” as President Alvaro Uribe has been able to pick one third of the magistrates in the two terms he served.
The court must rule on the constitutionality of the referendum bill that was approved by Congress recently and ratified by Uribe on Monday. Supporters of the referendum fear a slow procedure in the court could kill the president’s chance for re-election, as the elections already scheduled for May and the President is obliged to confirm his candidacy before November 30.
According to Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio, Uribe will only speak out on his 2010 aspirations if the Colombian people approve presidential re-election for a third term in the referendum.