Political supporters of the re-election of President Alvaro Uribe
expressed their concern that the Supreme Court’s investigation into the
possibly illegal approval of the bill for a referendum has sunk the initiative.
Political leaders and businessmen had gathered in the coastal city of Cartagena to discuss the progress on the 2010 election, but the fear that the decision of the Supreme Court to investigate a complaint that 86 lawmakers violated legislative procedure when they voted in favor of the referendum visibly dented the Uribistas’ confidence that their preferred President will be allowed to run in 2010.
Representative of the House Roy Barreras, one of the most vociferous supporters of Uribe, told Caracol Radio that there is a conspiracy to make sure the initiative “will not stay afloat.”
Rodrigo Rivera, leader of the Primero Colombia (First Colombia) movement that supports Uribe, asked for respect between the several branches of power, so that the proposal to elect Uribe for the third consecutive time can move forward without pressure of the judicial branch.
“There is very intense activity against the project and because of the aggression of the enemies of the referendum and the passivity of some of its friends, it [the referendum] is close to drowning,” Rivera said.
“What we have to do is demand of Congress, of the Supreme Court of Justice and later of the Constitutional Court that they let us citizens decide,” the politician added.
According to Rivera, disallowing the referendum, because of the alleged violation of legislative procedure, would be disallowing the Colombians to voice their opinion.
The re-election is strongly opposed by the opposition and most national and U.S. media, but seen crucial for the coalition to stay in power. None of the presidential candidates who have Uribe’s blessing enjoy his popularity and will have more trouble winning the election than the current President.
Uribe supporters in the House of Representatives withdrew their support from the referendum, fearing that if they are charged before the Court they will massively lose their seats.