Opposition party Polo Democratico on Monday called on independent presidential candidates to join forces to prevent a referendum on a constitutional change that would allow President Alvaro Uribe to run for a third term.
Senator Jaime Dussan, chairman of the social democratic party Polo, wants presidential candidates Noemi Sanin, Sergio Fajardo and German Vargas Lleras to join the opposition and call on their supporters to boycott the referendum.
Supporters of Uribe have been organizing the popular vote to change the constitution to allow the president to run for a third term in office, something prohibited by the constitution as it now stands.
Polo now wants conservative candidates like Sanin and Vargas to join the left-wing parties in their opposition to the referendum, which they consider illegal because of irregularities in the process leading up to the approval of the referendum bill in Congress.
“We want to see how courageous German Varags Lleras and Noemi Sanin are,” Dussan told television station Caracol.
Uribe’s re-election bid depends on the ruling of the Constitutional Court, which is currently studying the bill, on whether there is enough time to organize the referendum and push through a constitutional change before the May elections, and on the turnout and result of the referendum.