A bill calling for a referendum on allowing the 2010 re-election of
Colombian President Alvaro Uribe will obtain a majority of votes in the
House of Representatives Tuesday because of rebelling members of Cambio
Radical and the Liberal Party, El Espectador reported after a pre-count.
According to the newspaper, 94 representatives of the House will vote in favor of the referendum and thus allow Uribe to run for his third term as President of Colombia. To approve the bill, 84 votes in favor are needed.
Eight members of Cambio Radical, a coalition part whose leader German Vargas Lleras aspires the 2010 presidency himself, will vote in favor of the referendum, despite the party’s opposition to a third consecutive term of the president. Two members of the Liberal Party, one of the main opposition parties, will also vote in favor.
Earlier Tuesday, House President Edgar Gomez Roman announced two lawmakers had called in sick for the vote and eight were going to call on their inability to vote. 86 coalition Representatives who voted in favor of the referendum in an
earlier round are now under investigation by the Supreme Court for
allegedly illegally approving the bill. They fear losing their seat if
the Supreme Court decides to call the lawmakers to trial.
If the House passes the bill, the Constitutional Court must ratify the
constitutionality of the bill before a referendum can be held. If it
goes ahead, the referendum will ask Colombians if they want the
President to be allowed three consecutive terms.