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Chile: will the constitutional accusation and impeachment against President Piñera advance?

In the special session of the seventh room of the Chamber of Deputies and Deputies of Chile it is being discussed whether to initiate a political trial against the president Sebastian Piñera.

The constitutional framework allows it: according to the official virtual transmission of said debate, in 1980 it was established that “can enforce the responsibility of the head of state“If he compromised (put at risk)”the honor of the nation”.

And that’s why Piñera is pointed out, after the Pandora Papers reveal that the president committed irregularities in the sale of the Dominga mining.

It is not the first time that the path of ‘impeachment’ against you: in December 2019, was presented one by “violation of human rights”Due to the management of the Chilean government in the face of the social outbreak of October of that year

Now him deputy Jaime Naranjo He is in charge of the accusation that once again puts Piñera in check. “Solo [quiero] make a comment, president …”Was the first sentence he held on camera.

In this regard, the Chilean sociologist Axel Callís explains that the accusation should be voted on this Monday, the 8th, but that, due to the absence of several deputies (in quarantine for having been exposed to coronavirus) the opposition will use the appeal of the filibusterism.

In other words, Naranjo will talk, talk and talk to buy time. As there are no votes, he will present the case for 12 or 14 hours, he will extend the discussion so that this is voted on Tuesday 9, when the missing deputies will be able to attend the chamber. Therefore, the accusation went from having 100 pages to 1,300″.

Few leaves left, Mr. President [de la Cámara]. I value the spirit and encouragement of the deputies for wanting to accompany me in the room”Naranjo added.


On the future of this prosecution, Andrés Jouannet, Professor of Political Science at the Catholic University of Chile, he notes that the future is uncertain as long as there is no cohesive opposition.

The opposition has three candidates with representation, Gabriel Boric, Yasna Provoste and Marco Enríquez-Ominami, so the discussion in the chamber has to do with that.”.

Jouannet explains that any result will respond directly to what the parties look to the presidential elections on Sunday, November 21. In other words, it is about “give signals to the country”To bring water to your mill.

What is at stake for the center-left, led by Provoste, for example, is to see “what signal is sent to the electorate”. This in the context that, according to the specialist, the political extremes – right and left – are the favorites, to the detriment of any center position.

More than something in the background, it is a strategic question”.


Axel Callís maintains that it is very likely that the Chamber of Deputies will present the constitutional accusation. “But that is totally different from the fact that Piñera is going to be dismissed”.

In this legislation, the deputies are the accusers and the Senate the jury, and, in this second instance, there are not enough votes to accept the accusation”.

There, a very large quorum would be needed and right-wing people from the same government would have to vote. This will most likely die in the Senate”.

For him, the result will be the same as in 2019, when they also tried to remove Piñera: “nothing will happen, it will be rejected”, And the president will continue until March 2022, when he must hand over power.

Already in March some international organizations may decide to accuse Piñera more frontally for the human rights violations, but we would have to wait to see if this happens or comes to fruition.

In that sense, Callís understands that this process is the last “blow that is given to the administration“Piñera and that, although the Senate could always surprise -“suddenly a couple of senators decide to cross the line”- it is an uncertain scenario.

The president of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, assumed this second term in March 2018. EFE


With this in mind, it is valid to ask what will happen in the following months of Piñera’s administration. Both Callís and Jouannet agree that everything will remain the same.

Deep down, Piñera has long ceased to govern. This country is a ship without a captain, with a rudder that moves anywhere and works, fundamentally, because the country still has a certain degree of formality.”Says Jouannet.

And he adds: “In fact, with the exception of this period, the parliament never had so much initiative in matters of laws, more than the government itself”.

For his part, Callís confirms that in Chile there are “institutionality“And that there are”a series of protocols that will work so that there is no power vacuum”.

If to this is added that this process coincides with the presidential campaign, the result will be that it will be forgotten in the medium term. In the long run, however, there will be consequences.

Piñera will remain as a president who was accused during his term of conflict of interest and having generated negotiations incompatible with his position”.

Even so, the country is not going to destabilize”.

José Antonio Kast is considered the far-right candidate.  He is one of the favorites for the November 21 elections.  REUTERS





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