Reuters Central European Investment Summit
You are here:
Business & Finance
The Great Debate
Do More With Reuters
You Witness News
Make Reuters My Homepage
Support (Customer Zone)
About Thomson Reuters
Colombia's Uribe hits snag in re-election effort
Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:37am EDT
Email | Print |
| Reprints | Single Page
By Hugh Bronstein
BOGOTA (Reuters) - The surprise failure this week of a bill in Colombia's Congress aimed at allowing President Alvaro Uribe a third term revealed fractures in his coalition that could doom his chances of being re-elected.
The measure, voted down on Wednesday, would have allowed the popular Uribe to run for office again in 2014, after sitting out four years from 2010 when his current term ends.
Until its defeat, the bill was seen as an easy political maneuver by the president to preserve his already vast influence over a country beset by 44 years of guerrilla war.
He could still clinch a referendum vote to allow him to run in 2010, but lawmakers say Wednesday's legislative defeat shows Uribe may not have the support he needs to secure another presidential bid.
"The chances of re-election are now slimmer than they were a week ago," said lower House member Santiago Castro from the Conservative party, which is in Uribe's coalition but has begun to resist the re-election effort.
Coalition party Cambio Radical is also breaking ranks.
"Cambio Radical has shown its cards and is now clearly against re-election," Castro said. "And the Conservative party is toying with the idea of having its own candidate in 2010."
But the combative Uribe, whose father was killed in a botched rebel kidnapping in 1983, is keenly aware that no other politician in the country rivals him in terms of electability.
Uribe, whose supporters in Congress amended the constitution to allow him a second run for office in 2006, is the White House's main ally in South America.
Local lawmakers are now reviewing a proposed referendum on rewriting the constitution again to allow Uribe's reelection in 2010, and it could go before voters next year.
But many of his backers in Washington and on Wall Street shy from supporting the idea of another change in law aimed at keeping him in power. Critics say a third Uribe term would hollow-out democratic institutions and put too much power in the president's hands.
Known for his messianic style, Uribe is the only Colombian president in memory to have taken a hands-on approach to security, ordering the army to attack leftist rebels, push them off the highways they once controlled and out of cities.
The results have attracted record investment and kept Uribe's popularity above 70 percent despite a series of scandals in which security forces have committed human rights abuses and scores of Congress members, most from his coalition, are accused of having links to right-wing death squads.
Lower House member Constantino Rodriguez, of coalition member party Alas Equipo Colombia, said some Uribe supporters are slowing re-election legislation in order to promote their own party candidates or demand pork barrel spending projects. Continued...
View article on single page
Gunmen threaten to kill French hostages in Cameroon
also on reuters
London opens huge shopping center
Kids of the presidential campaigns
Michael opts out of Jackson 5 reunion
A selection of our best photos from the past 24 hours. Slideshow
Top News: Reuters interview with Sarah Palin
International: China "kidnapping" over business?
Technology: Gadgets still big for holiday shopping
Most Popular on Reuters
Rare flash of anger from Obama on Halloween night
Obama retains seven-point lead on McCain | Video
Demonization of CDS misstates real role in crisis
Obama boosts "Daily Show" to new record
Consumers slash spending, world markets stabilize
Rare flash of anger from Obama on Halloween night
Qaeda wants Republicans, Bush "humiliated": Web video
U.S. border police arrest Mexican troops
WITNESS: Berliners' love affair with America grows cold
One in five homeowners with mortgages under water | Video
Most Popular Articles RSS Feed
McCain's narrow path to victory
McCain, Schwarzenegger together
Change of Command
Offbeat election polls
Obama holds steady in the polls
Obama's 24-hour media blitz
Election '08: Awaiting orders
Japan unveils maid robot
Relics from Kristallnacht found?
"Experience" vs. "change"
Most Popular Videos RSS Feed
We want to hear from you
Join the Reuters advisory panel and help us get to know you better.
Please take a few moments to complete our survey.
Help and Contact Us |
Advertise With Us |
Interactive TV |
Reuters in Second Life |
Site Index |
Thomson Reuters Corporate:
Professional Products |
Professional Products Support |
About Thomson Reuters |
Latin America |
United Kingdom |
Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on Reuters.com, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbook which requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests.
NYSE and AMEX quotes delayed by at least 20 minutes. Nasdaq delayed by at least 15 minutes. For a complete list of exchanges and delays, please click here.