Uruguay's National Electoral Court has decided that the Referendum to repeal 135 provisions of the so-called Law of Urgent Consideration (LUC) will be held March 27, 2022, Chief Justice José Arocena announced.
Earlier Wednesday the Court had validated the number of signatures endorsing the petition so that such a referendum could be held. After that decision, the body had 120 days to hold the referendum.
After 671,544 signatures were counted, thus achieving the required 24% of the electoral roll to activate the mechanism, the body stopped counting at around noon Wednesday.
As per a Court decision, the ballots to vote for YES (to effectively the repeal the 135 articles) will be pink, while those who wish to vote NO (and keep the LUC as it is) will have to choose the light blue ballot.
Voting is mandatory.
The LUC was passed in July 2020 by the current government of President Luis Lacalle Pou and encompasses a large array of issues.
Opposition parties and social organizations had submitted the request to repeal the LUC July 8 barely hours before the deadline, after which the Electoral Court had 150 days to determine if the signatures endorsing the request were not forged.
Lacalle Pou took office March 1, 2020, after 15 years of FA government and passed the LUC on July 10, 2020. Voices against it were raised from the opposition and the Broad Front warned that rights and freedoms were lost and that legislation was passed in favour of the most privileged.
The FA called for the repeal of 135 of the 476 articles of the law, which reflects the main points of the program of the ruling coalition, covering topics as diverse as public safety, education, economy or health.
Among the most controversial issues is the flexibility in the use of police force, the regulation of the right to strike and the banning of pickets carried out in public or private spaces that “affect the free movement of people, goods or services”, with the consequent power to dissolve them.
Regarding the Penal Code, the LUC also addresses the minimum and maximum penalties for juvenile delinquents in addition to curtailing prison release conditions for adolescents.