Alvaro Uribe loyalists are studying the possibility of amending the Colombian constitution to allow the former president to be re-elected for a third term.
Speaking on behalf of “the majority of the Colombians,” Senator Juan Carlos Velez told Caracol Radio that “to us it doesn’t seem bad if Uribe returns as president”.
The Uribe loyalist revived the idea of holding a referendum calling on Congress to change the country’s constitution and allow Uribe’s second re-election.
“If we do a popular consultation now (…) and we ask the country, and if the country wants Uribe to return as president, why can’t we?” Velez rhetorically asked.
Colombia’s Constitutional Court in 2010 declared the possibility of Uribe’s reelection unconstitutional after finding irregularities in the electoral process in Congress and in the financing of the initiative.
Velez’ statement follows that of former Peace Commissioner Luis Carlos Restrepo, who fled the country before being charged for fraud over his alleged role in faking a FARC demobilization, who said Uribe loyalists should turn against the government of current President Juan Manuel Santos and work towards the 2014 re-election of Uribe.
Following his election in 2010, Santos increasingly has distanced himself from his predecessor and his policies, despite being elected into office promising to continue the Uribe legacy.
Colombia’s Prosecutor General, prompted by Santos, has initiated criminal investigations during the past year against members of the former Uribe government. They are being pursued for various scandals including embezzlement, the fake FARC demobilization and the illegal wiretapping of the Supreme Court, political opponents of the former president, journalists and human rights organizations.
Uribe has accused the Santos administration and the Prosecutor General of “politically persecuting” his former government.