Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Constitutional Issues at Colombia

I am blogging from Bogotá, a very beautiful city - I am spending part of my summer break here and also working on a lecture on "odious debts," the issue that I am currently working on. For the legal scholar, fascinating yet very unfortunate things are going on here. To begin with, the Colombian Constitutional Court is currently analyzing a petition regarding the constitutionality of a possible third re-election of the President. If the Court were to accept it, a referendum on Uribe´s re-election would take place. The deadline for the referendum is forthcoming - March 24 - and the Court is to decide in the next few days. Besides the constitutional debate, it is interesting to pose the question of what is it that happens in Latin America that most presidents work on their re-elections? There are a few recent exceptions, such as that of Lula at Brazil and Bachelet at Chile. Why is it that this ambition is not present elsewhere? As I suggested on an earlier post on Honduras last year, it may be that our societies in the south are not yet in a liberal equilibrium, that is, that we do not yet value liberal constitutional democracies that much.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a very interesting issue (and problem in Latin America). However, I also believe this it is partly a result of the fact that most Latin American constitutions (unlike many other Presidential and Parliamentary systems in North America and Europe), prohibit Presidendial re-election. That is, in most Latin American countries a President cannot run for a second term. So, I wonder if this ambition to change the constitution in order to allow for Presidential re-election is truly a Latin American phenomenon, or whether it would likely arise in other -perhaps more "advanced"- liberal democracies if Presidents or Prime Ministers were not allowed to run for a second term.


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