Colombian opposition party Polo Democratico challenges President
Uribe’s right to sanction the pending referendum legislation since he
is both judge and party.
Polo Representative German Reyes cited Law 734 as grounds for disqualification of any failing on the Single
Disciplinary Code, which expresses the impossibility of a public official to intervene in matters that have personal or private interest.
As Caracol Radio reports, Reyes says that in this case the call for a referendum exclusively favors
re-election of President Alvaro Uribe. The legal standard that
has already passed through Congress has a single beneficiary, being the President, since no
one else meets the referendum’s requirement of having been twice consecutively elected to office.
For the process passing of the referendum legislation to continue, it is necessary for the President to approve the law. The Constitution is then revised. If declared admissible, the law returns to the head of state in order to issue a decree calling forth elections.
According to the Disciplinary Code, the failure to declare the impediment of a public servant with a personal interest in the matter, is punishable by immediate dismissal from office.
Reyes’ challenge to the President will now result in intense legal maneuvering to determine who will be able to approve the reelection referendum legislation, since all other government officials are subordinate to the President.
Challenges to the Alternative Democratic Pole’s impeachment motion have been fierce over the past few months, reports daily El Espectador. It was first rejected by the President of the Ethics Commission, then the Speaker of the House, his second in command, and then up to 86 pro-Uribe senators and congressmen.