Uribe — speaking at an academic forum in Bogotá — broke
the silence after months of speculations and millions of signatures to
allow his possible return as President in 2010, .
“I want to ask Congress to please deal with the political and
judicial reforms instead of the referendum,” Uribe said, adding that he
does wish to serve again as President, but not until 2014.
Uribe has been trying to push a controversial political and judicial
reform to deal with the widening ‘parapolitics’ scandal that has led to
the suspension and criminal investigation of sixty congressmen, mostly
political allies of the President.
“It would be very serious if congress could not move on with the
‘real urgency’, which is the approval of the legislative agenda,
because it is busy with the referendum,” Uribe said, adding that “if
the referendum is an obstacle it should be removed.”
The President’s remarks come at a crucial time for his possible
re-election. Time is running out for Congress to deal with the possible
re-election of the popular President.
Followers of Uribe have gathered roughly four million signatures to
demand Congress to approve the constitutional change needed for Uribe’s
second re-election. If the gathered signatures are approved, Congress
is legally forced to deal with it as priority.
Uribe apologized to the four million people that signed the referendum and said a re-election in 2014 is still probable.
“Congress could easily reform the article that was adopted in 2006
(allowing Uribe’s first re-election) and skip the contingency factor,
so a President can be re-elected only once at a time, but can run again
after the next period,” Uribe proposed.