Colombia’s House of Representatives is debating the approval of a referendum on whether President Alvaro Uribe is allowed to seek a third consecutive term. A majority of the House declared itself impeded to vote, which is blocking approval of the referendum.
The referendum needs at least 84 votes in favor to become approved, but with 90 Representatives impeded to vote, this is impossible.
Following a previous voting round in the House, the Supreme Court opened a preliminary investigation into the possibly illegal approval of the bill for violating regulations on its financing.
Opposition politicians and presidential candidates accuse the government of pressuring and bribing lawmakers to approve the referendum.
Every single impediment will have to be approved or dismissed by Congress. After every declaration of impediment is dealt with, the vote on the referendum can continue.
If the coalition is not able to undo the impediment of its Representatives, the referendum sinks. If Congress can reverse enough impediments and reach the 84 necessary votes to approve the referendum, it will be sent to the Constitutional Court who will test its constitutionality.
The referendum is to ask the Colombian people if a president is allowed to seek a third consecutive term. This is currently not allowed by the constitution.
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