No time to trace the background much here,1 so I will lean on Steven Taylor (again), who has a good entry yesterday on Uribe’s plan for a “revote” of his own reelection. The matter came to a head after a Supreme Court ruling invalidating the constitutional amendment (on bribery charges) that allowed the reelection.
There is now also a proposal being floated to repeat the congressional elections of the same year (2006) that Uribe was reelected.
My comment to Steven’s post is replanted (in part) here, thought it probably makes more sense to someone reading both of Steven’s posts on the subject.
There is no good reason to repeat the congressional elections, even if one accepts Uribeâ€™s premise (which I most certainly do not). Their constitutionality is not at issue. They were held under the reformed electoral law, which was completely separate from the presidential-reelection measure.
The bigger issue here is that the Supreme Court really made a terrible decision, politically (I have no opinion on its validity constitutionally/legally). Some things really canâ€™t be admissible after the fact. The time for bringing charges against an amendment permitting reelection is before said reelection goes forward. Now it is a done deal, and the Court saying otherwise is simply handing a popular president a political issue to hammer the opposition with further. Pretty much totally contradictory (politically) to the (constitutional) issue the Court was judging.
A further question I have here is whether the Supreme Court even had authority to address this issue, by which I mean the constitutionality of the reelection amendment itself, not the bribery case against a legislator who voted for it. Colombia has a Constitutional Court, which is an entirely separate institution2 to address such institutional matters.
- In part because I am trying to finish up a paper on–guess what–the 2006 Colombian elections! [↩]
- And like most such bodies around the world, less isolated from the political process than is the Supreme Court. The logic behind the model of a Constitutional Court (or council or tribunal) is that, because it necessarily impinges directly on “political” concerns, it should be on a somewhat shorter leash, but with mixed representation from the various political branches. [↩]