Colombian President Álvaro Uribe can still run for the 2010 presidency,
Interior and Justice Minister Fabio Valencia Cossio said Wednesday,
hours after the House of Representatives approved the President’s 2014 re-election.
According to the Minister, the text of the referendum can still be changed, so it allows an immediate re-election of the President. The referendum initially was meant to assure a 2010 re-election, but because of a wrongly formulated text it now only allows the President to run for office again after taking a one term break.
Colombia’s House of Representatives would not amend the text in the past votes on the referendum. The opposition claims a 2010 re-election has long been buried, but Valencia Cossio disagrees.
“The question [of the referendum] can be modified, but it depends on the will of Congress, not of the Government. If Congress decides so, there can be an immediate re-election,” the Minister said.
The Government always refused to take a stand on the re-election of Uribe, but has on several occasions intervened so the initiative wouldn’t be sunk in Congress.
Tuesday night, when the referendum was about to be sunk because it wasn’t to be approved within the time limits, the government called for a special session of the House that made it impossible for the members to leave before having voted on the bill.
According to the Minister, the extra session was not to have the referendum approved, but to make sure the House would fulfill its duty to discuss the referendum as was the wish of the people who signed the popular vote.