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| 3/2/2010 12:00:00 AM

Colombia gets ready for life after Uribe

March 2--The country's Constitutional Court rejected holding the national referendum that would have allowed Uribe a third run for the presidency(...) There are many viable candidates but no clear front-runner for the presidential election scheduled to be held May 30.

Alvaro Uribe of Colombia has been Washington's most fervent ally in a region where leftist leaders like Venezuela's Hugo Chávez have been flexing their muscles and speaking their minds out loud. First elected in 2002, Uribe spent an ironfisted four-year term re-establishing order in a country devastated by leftist rebels, paramilitary groups and drug gangs, winning the respect of much of the populace — enough so that the constitution was amended to allow him a second term. But he wanted a third term and, with approval ratings at about 70% throughout 2009, seemed on the verge of winning it when Colombia's Congress called for a national referendum on the issue. For a year, the country's politics was in a state of limbo as the legislature, the courts, the press and the public debated whether to allow Uribe to run again. Late on Friday, the answer came down as a resounding no.
 
Read more here.
 
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