Colombia’s inspector general (IG) on Tuesday legally advised the Constitutional Court to approve a referendum that enables Uribe to run for a third term.
The non-binding statement by Inspector General Alejandro Ordoñez comes as no surprise to many, as efforts to hold a national referendum move forward.
In his legal opinion, Ordoñez countered opponents’ claims that the original petition to Congress for a referendum was conducted in violation of the law.
The main argument against the referendum is that the original petition was orchestrated by those closely aligned with Uribe and exceeded the financial limitations imposed on individuals supporting a referendum.
The IG argued that the violation of these financial regulations may be against the law, but does not change the constitutionality of the proposal.
Ordoñez also refuted the argument that the Congress should not have been allowed to change the content of the public petition. Congress did so after the petition had already been held to allow Uribe to run this year, instead of in 2014 as the original petition would have allowed. “If the people would have wanted to limit the legislator, these limits would have been noted in the constitution,” the IG argued.
The decision to allow a referendum ultimately lies with the Constitutional Court, which will have sixty days to determine the legality of the referendum to change the constitution, and allow Uribe a third term. The Court is expected to rule later this month.