The referendum needed for a second re-election of Colombian President Alvaro Uribe is on the verge of collapse after the country’s Electoral Council ruled that the signatures collected to force the referendum are invalid.
According to the council, the organisors of the collection of the five million signatures needed to force Congress to hold a referendum violated regulations on the financing of such a project: the organizing committee allowed sponsors to donate more money than allowed.
Colombia’s Congress already approved the referendum bill, despite claims by the opposition that this was unlawful without the approval of the Electoral Council.
The Supreme Court is investigating opposition Representatives who approved the bill despite earlier complaints by the National Registry and the Electoral Council that the money to finance the project was collected incorrectly.
According to newspaper El Espectador, promotors of the referendum are planning on appealing on the Council’s decicion.
Uribe’s third election bid is not allowed by to the Colombian constitution and will need to be amended for the President to run again in 2010. The Constitutional Court is currently testing the referendum bill on its constitutionality.