Monday, March 1, 2010

No Third Term for Uribe!

Colombian Court Decided: Third Term for Uribe Against Constitution

A debate which has been going on for 2 years has finally been decided: Uribe will not be allowed to run for presidency for a 3rd time.

On Friday February 26 Colombia's constitutional court decided with a vote of 7 to 2 that allowing Uribe to run for a 3rd term would be against the constitution and would be violating democratic principles.

Uribe has been Colombia's president since 2002, when he was elected with a 53% majority. In 2005, the constitutional court approved an amendment allowing a single re-election. In 2005, Uribe was re-elected with an even more comfortable majority of 63%.

With his policy of confronting the FARC and establishing security in Colombia, pushing the civil war back into the most remote rural areas, he maintained high approval ratings throughout his presidency. Only recently public support of a 3rd term seemed to have faded.

The other candidates for the May 30 election are now re-calibrating their campaigns, which have been in limbo due to the unclear situation about Uribe's 3rd term. In a recent poll the current defense minister, Jan Manuel Santos led with a narrow lead before Gustavo Petro of the Democratic Independent Pole and the charismatic Sergio Fajardo, the former mayor of Medellin. Medellin would certainly love to see yet another Paisa after Uribe lead the nation.

Whoever wins the presidency, it will be key for the new president to continue with Uribe's policy of fighting the FARC and continue the process of re-establishing security in the country.

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