A referendum vote against political corruption yesterday in Colombia fell just short of the voter threshold requirement to approve the seven measures on the ballot.
Photo: On the morning after the failed referendum, Colombian President Iván Duque told the nation “we will continue fighting” and that “all Colombians must be united” to stamp out corruption despite the results. (Credit: Presidencia de la República)
While the Colombians who did show up at the polls almost unanimously voted in favor of the initiatives, the referendum required one-third of eligible voters in the country to participate for it to be valid. So despite the fact that about 99% of those who cast a ballot voted in favor of approving the anti-corruption measures, the referendum failed by a less than half a million votes.
In all, after 99.8% of the ballots were counted, 11,665,481 had shown up to vote, according to the Colombian National Civil Registry.
But to be approved, the initiatives required 12,140,342 voters out of the 36,421,026 citizens who are eligible to cast a ballot.
In the referendum, Colombians were asked to chose “yes” or “no” regarding seven different proposals:
- * Reduce the salary of all members of Congress from 40 times the monthly minimum salary (SMLMV) to 25 times the SMLMV and cap the salary of high-ranking public officials at 25 times SMLMV
* Ensure all politicians and officials convicted of corruption have no chance for parole, terminate any public contracts with the national government that they have been involved, and never allow them to contract with the government again
* Make all public contract processes transparent and standardized across the country
* Mandate public hearings that include citizen participation in public budgets at the state, department, and municipal level
* Force lawmakers to file an annual report regarding their attendance, voting record, and initiative proposals in Congress as well as any matter under their purview that relates to special interests/lobbyists, public projects, and public investments
* Obligate all elected officials to make publicize their income, tax filings, financial holdings and other assets, including property, as well as any conflicts of interest
* Prohibit lawmakers from serving more than three terms in office at the national, department, and municipal level
Despite the failure of the measure, Colombian President Iván Duque stressed that the government has heard the voices of the 99% of the voters who want the country to work to stamp out corruption.
“The fight against corruption is not a one-day struggle and it won’t disappear today,” said Duque to the nation. “We will continue fighting with a joint destiny in Congress, in education, in the administration, and in the field of values. Together we will construct the future Colombia deserves.”
“In the fight against corruption, all Colombians must be united,” he added.