2003 Colombian constitutional referendum (Ofer Abarbanel online library)

fifteen-part constitutional referendum was held in Colombia on 25 October 2003. Whilst all fifteen proposals were approved by voters, only one question had a sufficient numbers of votes to pass the 25% quorum requirement.[1]

Background

After taking office in August 2002, President Álvaro Uribe put forward several constitutional reforms. The Congress approved the proposals on 20 December 2002, but also suggested several changes, including reducing the size of the Chamber of Representatives and the Senate by a fifth rather than creating a unicameral Congress, and forcing parties that received less than 2% of the vote in elections to disband.

Uribe subsequently signed the changes into law, and they were submitted to the Constitutional Court on 22 January 2003. On 9 July the Court passed judgement that the referendum was valid, but that four questions were not acceptable.

Under articles 374 and 378 of the Constitution, proposed amendments to the constitution require a quorum of 25% of registered voters casting a valid vote, and a majority of those who have voted to vote in favour.[1]

Results

# Subject For Against Invalid Quorum Blank votes Total Registered
voters
Turnout
Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
1 Incapacity in public office 5,874,193 93.33 294,348 4.68 125,266 1.99 6,293,807 25.11 379,243 6,673,050 25,069,773 26.62
2 Restricted voting to the electoral roll 5,871,354 94.35 232,121 3.73 119,213 1.92 6,222,688 24.82 450,362
3 Abolishing replacement members 5,839,612 93.27 295,616 4.72 125,850 2.01 6,261,078 24.97 411,972
4 Congressional input to public broadcasters 5,319,557 86.52 703,634 11.44 124,915 2.03 6,148,106 24.52 524,944
5 MPs working for parliamentary services 5,668,819 93.60 283,030 4.67 104,406 1.72 6,056,255 24.16 616,795
6 Reduction in size of Congress and councils 5,328,733 93.00 295,908 5.16 105,040 1.83 5,729,681 22.85 943,369
7 Removing public officials from office 5,403,139 94.71 208,100 3.65 93,982 1.65 5,705,221 22.76 967,829
8 Pensions for public sector workers 5,602,823 90.06 493,563 7.93 124,926 2.01 6,221,312 24.82 451,738
9 Abolition of regional and local audit offices 5,557,950 90.57 460,941 7.51 117,946 1.92 6,136,837 24.48 536,213
10 No public money for election campaigns 5,174,738 94.73 283,440 4.64 109,104 1.79 6,107,282 24.36 565,768
11 Money from abolished audit offices used on health and education 5,668,878 93.87 270,039 4.47 100,384 1.66 6,039,301 24.09 633,749
12 Redistribution of education and health funds 5,587,469 90.16 285,842 4.62 123,228 1.99 6,187,539 24.68 485,511
13 Freeze government spending for two years 4,907,283 80.28 1,063,877 17.40 141,545 2.32 6,112,705 24.38 560,345
14 Parties with less than 2% of the vote lose legal status 5,457,866 91.06 420,859 7.02 115,300 1.92 5,994,025 23.91 679,025
15 Immediate implementation of the reforms 5,457,951 93.71 270,249 4.62 97,197 1.66 5,843,397 23.31 829,653
Source: Direct Democracy

Aftermath

Following the referendum, President Uribe objected to the presence of 700,000 voters on the electoral roll, whose removal would have meant nine of the fifteen questions passing the quorum. However, his protests were rejected by the National Electoral Council on 19 December 2003.[1]

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:ab c Colombia, 25 October 2003: Incapacity in public office, who takes on possession Direct Democracy (in German)

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