[2008.07.05] 哥伦比亚:谢谢,晚安


Gracias and Good Night

Jul 3rd 2008
From The Economist print edition

Despite his coup in freeing Ingrid Betancourt, álvaro Uribe should not seek a third term

ONLY those blinded by ideology would deny that álvaro Uribe has made Colombia a better place. By expanding the security forces and leading them tirelessly, Mr Uribe, who was first elected president in 2002, has imposed the authority of the democratic state across most of a previously lawless country. He persuaded thousands of right-wing paramilitaries to disarm, and has inflicted probably mortal blows on the FARC guerrillas. The latest of these was the dramatic liberation this week of the FARC’s most-prized hostages, including Ingrid Betancourt, a politician of Colombian and French nationality kidnapped six years ago, and three American defence contractors (see article). Murders have almost halved since 2002; kidnappings have fallen much more. A safer country is prospering economically, as confidence returns.


This record has won Mr Uribe his people’s gratitude (opinion polls give him an approval rating of 80%) and in 2006 a second term-after he persuaded Congress to lift a constitutional ban on consecutive presidential terms, and the courts to ratify the change. But now this second term is unexpectedly in question. On June 26th the Supreme Court found that a former legislator cast a deciding committee vote for the re-election amendment only after two ministers had promised government jobs to some of her supporters. The justices have asked the Constitutional Court to rule on the legality of the constitutional change and thus of the 2006 election.


Mr Uribe’s reaction was characteristically combative. He asked Congress to call a referendum on the legitimacy of his term. He claims that the courts are pursuing a political vendetta. He has a point: reprehensible though it is, patronage politics is routine in Colombia and much of the democratic world. To deduce that in this case it invalidates the election is disproportionate-as the Constitutional Court may well conclude.

乌里韦先生对此勃然大怒。他要求国会就他连任的合法性进行全民公投。他声称法院在挑起政治仇恨。他有自己的理由:主仆政治(Patronage Plitics)虽然不招人待见,但在哥伦比亚和民主世界的许多地区司空见惯。如果将乌里韦先生的观点推导至这件事上,裁定2006年选举无效(宪法法院很可能做出这样的裁定)是不合时宜的。

But the president’s referendum idea is equally cock-eyed. He seems determined to battle the courts, rather than respect them. Worse, although he has denied this, the referendum suggests to many a step towards prolonging his rule beyond 2010. He has allowed supporters to gather signatures for a (separate) referendum to change the constitution again to allow him a third term. This would give him time to finish off the FARC and complete his rescue of Colombia, supporters say.

然而,总统先生关于公投的主意同样不合时宜。他似乎执意要与法院作对,而不是尊重法院。更糟的是,对于许多人来说,全民公投意味着朝延长他的统治至 2010年之后又迈进了一步(虽然他对此矢口否认)。他已经允许他的支持者收集签名,要求举行公投,从而再次修宪,使他梅开三度。他的支持者说,这样可以给他充足的时间,铲除FARC,完成他对哥伦比亚的拯救大业。

He deserves a full second term-but no more

Tempting though such a prospect might seem, a third term would be disastrous for Colombia. Mr Uribe is not without flaws. Worryingly, given his feud with the judiciary, judges nominated by him will form a majority in the Constitutional Court by next year. His shoot-from-the-hip manner has made him many enemies abroad, including in America’s Democratic Party. He may be welcoming John McCain to Colombia this week, but it is Barack Obama who is ahead in the opinion polls and the Democrats control Congress (where they are disgracefully blocking a trade agreement with Colombia mainly because of their distaste for Mr Uribe). A different Colombian president might also carry out the agrarian reform-settling people displaced by violence on land confiscated from warlords-that Colombia needs and Mr Uribe eschews.


Most importantly, Colombia’s transformation will remain fragile as long as it is the work of one man. To be complete, it needs to be institutionalised. There are several plausible successors who would maintain Mr Uribe’s security policies. Rather than a plebiscitarian strongman, in the mould of Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez or Peru’s Alberto Fujimori, Colombia needs strengthened democratic institutions. The greatest service Mr Uribe could do his country is to depart in 2010.


译者:misser    http://www.ecocn.org/forum/viewthread.php?tid=12538&pid=78838&page=1&extra=page%3D1#pid78838


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