An anti-corruption referendum in Colombia failed to pass on Sunday after narrowly falling short of a required one-third quorum. Nearly 11.7 million of nearly 36 million registered voters turned out to vote on seven measures designed to battle corruption and improve transparency. A threshold of 12.1 million voters was needed to make it binding. However, of those that cast a vote nearly 99 percent supported the proposals, sending a clear message to political elites that the public wants corruption to be taken seriously.
“We were five cents short, but this has shaken the traditional political class,” Angelica Lozano Correa, a Green party senator who backed the measure told local radio. “Citizens want a real and genuine change in political practices.”
Had the referendum passed, the measures would have slashed lawmakers’ salaries, imposed a three-term limit and forced elected officials to publish their tax returns.