Steven Taylor (of PoliBlog, and also one of the leading scholars of Colombian parties and elections) has several interesting posts over the last few days about ongoing developments in Colombia with respect to the still-pending bid to pass a constitutional amendment that would permit President Uribe to run for a third successive term next May.
The most interesting recent developments are that the inter-cameral conference committee has failed to resolve differences in a bill that would have to pass before a referendum could be called on lifting the term limit. If the referendum is held, there is little doubt it will pass, and if Uribe then runs, there is little doubt he would win. The sticking point is thus congress, where Uribe has been backed by a large multiparty coalition since winning his first term in 2002. Some of the parties may finally be remembering that parties running under separate banners are supposed to compete with one another–something predicted in this space over three years ago, but that I thought would not take so long to materialize. Two uribista parties, Cambio Radical and the Conservative Party–have already said they will run their own candidates. And the coalition in congress is no longer unified; in fact, Steven notes that when combined with the Liberal and leftist parties, the opposition to a third term now appears to be in the majority in the Senate.
Good news for Colombian democracy, but this is one of those “developing stories,” as the news folks like to say.