The Montes de María, a new focus of U.S. assistance Re-election uncertainty and the “rule of opinion”
Jul 312009

Colombian President Álvaro Uribe “had a hellish week,” the Colombian newsmagazine Semana reported last weekend, “and had rarely been seen so upset.”

The magazine, among other Colombian media, was reporting on a change in the country’s congressional leadership last week, which unexpectedly benefited the opposition. This appears to have dashed President Uribe’s hopes to change the country’s constitution to allow him to run for reelection in 2010. The likelihood of the Congress holding a constitutional amendment referendum this fall has plummeted.

According to an excellent analysis in Semana, even the president’s supporters in Colombia’s Congress appear to recognize that the referendum – which was by far Uribe’s easiest path to re-election – is dead.

The proof that the referendum isn’t happening is that there is not a single Uribista in the Congress who privately believe that this dead body can be resuscitated. Until recently this is what only the anti-Uribistas said. Starting last week, this is what even the President’s most loyal defenders are saying.

“With the new congressional leadership, the environment is unfavorable. Now it is not worth the trouble even to propose the referendum issue, we have to focus on seeking an effective successor to the president,” pro-Uribe legislator Roy Barreras told the lasillavacía.com website, which published another very helpful analysis of the political moment. Uribe’s own closest advisors, says Semana, “have declared in private that if the Congress is unable to reconcile the referendum bill by the middle of August, the referendum option will have to be discarded.”

4 Responses to “Uribe’s reelection, suddenly uncertain”

  1. Steven Taylor Says:

    I think it looks dead as well, especially given that Cambio Radical and the PC both are supporting their own candidates for the presidency. If the caucuses of those two parties are not on board, then the uribistas don’t have the votes.

    Adam, you suggest that there may be another route to reelection, as you wrote “the referendum – which was by far Uribe’s easiest path to re-election” which suggests that there is some other, less easy, route to achieve the re-election goal. What are you suggesting?

    It seems to me that as the parties realize that Uribe isn’t going to be allowed to run again, that his allies will start defecting and seeking to support their own candidates (which appears to already be happening, except within the cote uribista parties, i.e., La U, CC, and the PDC).

  2. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » 1000 Words on an Uribe Third Term Says:

    [...] Plan Colombian and Beyond addthis_url = ‘http%3A%2F%2Fwww.poliblogger.com%2F%3Fp%3D16470′; addthis_title = [...]

  3. Stuart Says:

    In addition to members of his party defecting, the reelection issue has become amazingly politicized and seen a lot of attention since people started (wrongly) accusing Zelaya of seeking one. A third term for Uribe is definitely a dead letter…

  4. Plan Colombia and Beyond » Re-election uncertainty and the “rule of opinion” Says:

    [...] the Center for International Policy Uribe’s reelection, suddenly uncertain Aug [...]

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