Colombia’s anti-corruption referendum fails to pass due to voter turnout

By August 27, 2018

Less than two years after voting against peace, Colombians have failed to pass an anti-corruption referendum for a failure to meet the required voter turnout. Though those who voted overwhelming voted in favor of the referendum, voters did not meet the required turnout of more than 12.1 million votes on Sunday after only a little more than 11 million voted.

Voters were essentially polled on seven proposed measures, all of which passed by 99 percent from those who went out to vote:

1. A salary limit for members of Congress

2. Those found to be guilty of crimes of corruption serve full jail sentences

3. All negotiations with public contractors are fair and open

4. Citizens may have an influence on the annual budget

5.  Congress members must be open about why they are presenting bills and who lobbied them

6. Elected officials must disclose their assets, income, and the taxes paid

7. Elected officials must max out at three terms in the same legislative body

Still, because a third of the country’s estimated total population of 36.4 million didn’t vote, the referendum failed. Newly elected president Iván Duque went to the polls to vote Sunday morning after polls opened at 8 a.m. local time.

According to recent statistics from the comptroller’s office, some $15 billion is lost to corruption each year in Colombia.

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