The referendum on the constitutionality on President Uribe’s re-election bid will not pass, news website La Silla Vacia has predicted.
The nine magistrates who sit on Colombia’s Constitutional Court are set to vote on the referendum this Friday. According to La Silla Vacia, which has interviewed five unnamed sources on the subject, it is likely that the final vote will be 7-2 against the initiative’s passage.
Among the court’s magistrates, Humberto Sierra is one of the leading voices against the referendum, arguing that both its financing and its processing by Congress have been irregular and unconstitutional. He will certainly vote against the bill on Friday, along with magistrate Luis Ernesto Vargas, La Silla Vacia says.
Jorge Pretelt, a staunch ally of Uribe, is predicted to vote in favor of the bill’s constitutionality, along with Mauricio Gonzalez, who voted in favor of Uribe’s first re-election in 2006.
Of the five remaining magistrates, none have come out strongly in favor of the referendum and have previously expressed doubts about its constitutionality.
Several of President Uribe’s closest advisors, including presidential pre-candidates Juan Manuel Santos and Andres Felipe Arias, are set to meet Thursday in Bogota to discuss the increasingly likely possibility that Uribe will not run in 2010. Santos expressed his doubts on Wednesday that the referendum would pass, citing magistrate Sierra’s strong opposition to the bill.
“The possibilities that the referendum will pass have diminished and now it’s a matter of simple arithmetic,” he said.