The magistrate appointed by the Constitutional Court to examine the referendum on the re-election of Colombia President Alvaro Uribe wants the controversial initiative to be scrapped, Caracol Radio reported Thursday.
Magistrate Humberto Sierra considers that the process leading up to the referendum had “extremely serious” errors which render it unconstitutional.
In a document of some 400 pages Sierra identifies five major flaws in the referendum, in particular irregularities in its financing and its processing by Congress.
The organizers of financing for the re-collection of signatures that called for a referendum ignored existing financial caps that prevent private companies or persons from donating large quantities of money.
Following the re-collection of signatures, the Senate changed the text of the referendum, disregarding a previous vote in the House to disallow a change in formulation. Sierra believes this change to be unconstitutional.
Sierra wants the referendum to be declared unconstitutional due to errors in its processing, but did not comment on the constitutionality of a third term for Uribe.
A recent poll found that the referendum on the constitutional change necessary for Uribe to be eligible for a third presidential term has lost the approval of the majority of Colombians.
Prominent opponents of the referendum – who believe it to be unconstitutional – asked the Constitutional Court to hold public hearings on the issue.
Uribe’s re-election bid depends on the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which is currently studying the bill, and on whether there is enough time to organize the referendum and push through a constitutional change before the May elections, and finally on the turnout and result of the referendum.