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| 5/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

A Leader's Limit

May 29 -- Why Colombia's successful president should not seek another term in office

IN SEVEN years Álvaro Uribe has established himself as one of the most successful presidents in modern Colombian history. When he took office, his country was on the verge of failed-state status; under his guidance the government has reestablished control over most of the country, demobilized or defeated guerrillas of the right and left, and revived the economy. Though Colombia remains a major source of cocaine traffic, drug kingpins no longer operate with impunity -- dozens have been captured, killed or shipped to the United States for trial.

Now Mr. Uribe's very success threatens to become his undoing. Four years ago his political supporters led a movement to amend the constitution so that he could serve another term; the president won reelection in a landslide. Now, with his second term due to expire in 2010, another such movement has appeared. Last week, the Colombian Senate approved a constitutional amendment that, if reconciled with a version in the lower house and approved by the country's supreme court, could be put to a public referendum this year. Polls show that Mr. Uribe remains extremely popular and would be likely to win a third term.
 
Read more here.
 
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