Prominent opponents of the referendum on the re-election of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe asked the country’s Constitutional Court on Tuesday to hold public hearings on the referendum.
The Citizens Alliance for Democracy (ACD), consisting of former politicians, constitutional experts and civilian organizations, considers that the approval of the referendum would be against Colombia’s constitution.
The ACD therefore officially petitioned Constitutional Court magistrate Humberto Sierra Porto to allow public hearings in which civilian organizations, experts on constitutional law and public entities can voice protest on the way the referendum has been organized.
The high court is currently considering a proposed referendum on a constitutional change needed for Uribe to run for a third term in the presidential elections in May.
The opponents want the Constitutional Court to prevent the referendum, and protest that none of the authorities involved stopped the process, despite established irregularities in the organization and financing of the referendum and its process through Congress.
The ACD also rejects the inspector general’s (IG) recent advice to the Court to allow the referendum, claiming that IG Alejandro Ordoñez “completely ignored the presented arguments of dozens of citizens who asked that the law that allows the referendum be declared unenforceable.”
According to the group, by giving his blessing to the referendum, Ordoñez ignored his constitutional duty to “defend the interest of all society and not just part of it.”
The Constitutional Court will now have to decide whether to allow a public hearing, an initiative that could further slim the chances of Uribe’s re-election bid as the elections are held in under four months.