Uruguayan opposition politicians Thursday filed a petition before the Electoral Court to call for a referendum to repeal several articles of the Urgent Consideration Law (LUC) passed last year.
The promoters of the referendum claim to have collected 797,261 signatures, way above the minimum required by the National Constitution, which is 25% of the registered voters nationwide (a little over 670,000).
The extra signatures provide “a cushion” just in case some of the signatures are declared invalid by the Electoral Court, which has a final say on these issues.
The LUC was passed through emergency proceedings amid sanitary restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In the middle of this campaign, everything has happened to us: very good things and things that hurt the depths of the soul, union workers' leader Fernando Pereira said.
Now the question is, who won in this country? The ordinary militants won, those who read the 135 articles of the law and came out to defend them with arguments, he added.
The dispute is against a lousy law. We defend direct democracy...,” he went on.
Meanwhile, President Luis Lacalle Pou refused to make any comments. When the Court verifies [the number of signatures] has been reached we will do the political analysis. Nevertheless, Lacalle insisted that from our point of view, we were promoting it for something, so it is a good law.
The President also expressed his tranquillity and pride for participating in a country that has elements of direct democracy, in which a percentage of citizens established in the Constitution can file an appeal, in this case, against a law.
Lacalle went on: They have listened to us during the electoral campaign, during the beginning of the government, to spread the ideas, the document, the preliminary draft [which] later [became a] law.”