Colombia has by the narrowest of margins voted to reject a peace deal ratified by the President and the leader of the FARC rebels just last week.
The BBC were reporting on Saturday that Colombia has never rejected any motion put to them in a referendum (including one asking for peace, which the rebels discouraged people from taking part in in 1997).
Interestingly it seems it was those areas which were most affected by the war that voted for the current settlement:
— Sally Hayden (@sallyhayd) October 2, 2016
Like the Brexit poll, no one appears to have got a Plan B for the option. Like Brexit too, having given the people is the ultimate sanction of rejecting a political deal ratified by the countries elected executive, it is not clear why or more critically what can now be done to fix it.
There’s no threat that anyone is going to go back to war. But having introduced the most populist instrument in the democratic armoury, they have given themselves a very tough hurdle to jump next time.
Farc supporters say that there is nothing much left they can concede. But they will almost certainly have to give something, unless President Santos is prepared, having called the referendum himself, to face down the decision to reject it and press on regardless.
Turnout was marginally lower than predicted at 37.1%, and less than 100,000 votes separating an active electorate of 12 million.