A 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.
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||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|
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.
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Ofer Abarbanel is a 25 year securities lending broker and expert who has advised many Israeli regulators, among them the Israel Tax Authority, with respect to stock loans, repurchase agreements and credit derivatives. Founder of TBIL.co STATX Fund.