The president of Argentina, Alberto Fernández, made official on Wednesday (4.jan.2023) the beginning of the parliamentary process to open a request for impeachment of the judges of the Supreme Court of Justice of the country.
Em your twitter profileFernández posted an image of a meeting with the leader of the ruling bloc in the Chamber, Germán Martínez, and with the president of the Impeachment Commission, Carolina Gaillard. “I asked them to start the legislative process right away [do impeachment]”, informed the Argentine president.
The spokeswoman for the presidency, Gabriela Cerruti, confirmed this Thursday morning (January 5) that the government will convene extraordinary sessions, part of the impeachment analysis process, until the end of January.
“This is a historic decision that has to do with the seriousness of the situation, where the Court intervenes in the performance of other powers in disagreement with the Constitution”Cerruti said.
Em announcement released on Tuesday (3.jan), Fernández announced the intention to remove the 4 judges from the Court “for repeated conducts that constitute the cause of poor performance of their duties”. The measure received support from 11 of the 23 governors of Argentine provinces.
The Supreme Court of Justice is composed by judges Horacio Rosatti (president), Carlos Rosenkrantz, Juan Carlos Maqueda and Ricardo Lorenzetti. The 5th seat is vacant since the resignation of former Judge Elena Highton of Nolascoem 2021.
In September, the Senate, with a government majority, approved a project to increase the number of seats on the Court to 15 seats. The proposal is stalled in the House.
To approve the impeachment of the judges, ⅔ of the deputies (172 out of 257) and senators (48 out of 72) are needed. the governing coalition “Front of All”however, does not have a qualified majority in either House.
According to the newspaper The countryeven if he fails to approve the impeachment, the intention is to undermine the image of magistrates and divert public attention from the government, which is experiencing a crisis of low popularity with Fernández.
The conflict between the Powers intensified after a decision by the Supreme Court of Justice in December benefited the province of Buenos Aires, controlled by the opposition linked to former President Mauricio Macri, in a dispute over federal tax collection.
At the time, Fernández said that determination was a “defeat for federalism” and deepened the inequality of resources between provinces. There was a threat of non-compliance with the decision, but the government backtracked and announced that it would respect the order.
Sponsored by Macri, the mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, is one of the main candidates to lead the candidacy for the presidency of the opposition coalition “Together for Change” in the general elections in the country in October.
“I don’t know if the Court’s objective is to finance Larreta’s campaign, but it will succeed”said Fernández in an interview with an Argentine television channel at the time.
The crisis was aggravated in late 2022 after leaked chats showed conversations between an opposition councilor and one of the advisors to the president of the Supreme Court of Justice.
The revelation showed that the politician participated in a trip with judges, prosecutors and representatives of the Clarín group, which controls Argentina’s main newspaper, to a farm owned by British businessman Joe Lewis in Lago Escondido, in the Patagonia region, raising suspicions of a collusion against the government.
Before, the relationship between the Executive and the Judiciary was already strained by accusations of persecution of Vice President Cristina Kirchner, sentenced to 6 years in prison by a federal court for illegally favoring public tenders during the period in which she was president.
As it has privileged jurisdiction, Kirchner was not arrested and is awaiting judgment by the Supreme Court of Justice, which has not set a deadline for analyzing the case.