Thursday, December 18, 2008

Exactly what Uribe didn't want

To get yet another constitutional amendment for yet another term, Alvaro Uribe stayed coy so it would look more like the will of the people (Hugo Chávez didn't bother, and really, who is it fooling?) and wanted to make sure it didn't get hung up in Congress, where there was a risk of it getting bogged down.

Now Congress voted to allow him to run in 2014, but not 2010, and his supporters are reduced to talking about modifying it and saying that Colombians who signed a re-election petition thought they meant immediate re-election even if apparently that apparently wasn't made specific. He even called a special session of Congress so they couldn't go home until figuring all this out. Now Reuters has gone so far as to publish a list of who might replace him, which is just adding insult to injury.

This is, quite obviously, not where Uribe wanted to be. I think he had a solid shot at getting the constitutional amendment, but he needed to push it from a position of strength, and he waited too long. Openly pushing the legislature around is bad form. Uribe is still very popular, but a bruising fight to keep himself in power will likely force those numbers downward. He is inching closer toward Pyrrhic Victory.

1 comments: 12:21 PM  

Couldn't happen to a nicer fellow. I am shocked, SHOCKED that the Washington Post and the NY Times aren't up in arms about him trying to set himself up as a dictator for life. Oh, I'm sorry, I thought this was Hugo Chavez we were talking about.
Seriously, do you suppose that this was a quiet move by people in the Congress to deliberately make him miss a term so that he has to run on an equal footing for re-election? My nasty, suspicious mind tells me that some of the ambitious types in the Congressional leadership may have wanted to 'misunderstand.' We'll see if an amendment passes or not. If no amendment passes, this was the plan all along, albeit unspoken.

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