Wednesday 25 May 2022

Referendum on Proposed Anti-Corruption Laws Falls Short in Colombia

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25 May 2022 - At The Banks - BCCR

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A set of anti-corruption initiatives in Colombia failed to attract the required number of votes Sunday, despite earning nearly 100 percent support of the voters.

Supporters rallying for the nation’s new peace agreement with FARC hold a giant flag during a march in Bogota, Colombia, Nov.15, 2016.

Over 11 million Colombians voted to approve the seven initiatives, which included imposing term limits on lawmakers, drastically reducing their salaries, and ending house arrest as a punishment for corrupt officials. But the measure failed because it did not earn the 12.1 million votes needed to pass.

Newly elected President Ivan Duque supported the initiatives, bucking against lawmakers in his conservative party who openly opposed them. Duque urged congressional action to approve the initiatives in a televised speech shortly after the results were announced.

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“We were five cents short,” said Green Party lawmaker Angelica Lozano, an outspoken supporter of the referendum and he told reporters late Tuesday, the vote represented “shaking of the traditional political class.”

Studies have found that corruption in Colombia costs the country at least four percent of its gross national product each year.

VOA News

Article originally appeared on Today Colombia and is republished here with permission.

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