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Colombian lawmakers OK referendum on Uribe third term

Sept 03--Colombia's House of Representatives overwhelmingly has approved a measure that could allow President Alvaro Uribe to run for a third term next year.

3 de septiembre de 2009

The 85-5 vote late Tuesday would let Colombians vote on a referendum on whether a president can serve three consecutive terms.

The Senate passed a similar bill August 19. The measure now goes to the Colombian constitutional court for approval.

Supporters hope to have the measure on the ballot in congressional elections scheduled for March.

The relevant part of the measure states, "Whoever has been elected president of the republic for two constitutional terms can be elected solely for one other term."

Uribe, a conservative, was elected in 2002 to a single four-year term allowed by the 1991 constitution. He won a constitutional amendment in 2005 that let him run for a second term in May 2006.
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