The referendum to allow President Alvaro Uribe’s re-election in May is causing controversy again, as the country’s Registry insists there is no time to organize the popular vote, while Uribe supporters claim this would take only a few days.
In an interview with Caracol Radio, Registry boss Carlos Ariel Sanches Torres said Wednesday his office needs three months to organize the referendum, which would mean that it would be held only one month before the elections, and there would not be enough time to approve its results.
According to coalition Senator Armando Benedetti, Sanchez’s remarks follow the Registry’s long resistance against the referendum for Sanchez’s personal reasons, and his office does not in fact have the means to delay the popular vote.
“Organizing the referendum is a matter of days, not months,” the senator, one of Uribe’s most loyal supporters in Congress, told Colombia Reports. He says that a lot of the preparations for the referendum have already been made, which makes a quick process possible.
The senator therefore continues to be hopeful that a referendum will be held on time for Uribe to run in May for another four years as President.
The bill calling for a referendum is currently being studied by the Constitutional Court, which is expected to approve or deny the constitutional change necessary for Uribe to stand for re-election, later this month.
Uribe himself refuses to speak explicitly about his ambitions. In an interview held Tuesday, he said his fate is in the hands of the Constitutional Court, the people and God.