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Montevideo, September 24th 2023 - 23:19 UTC



In chaotic session Argentina approves controversial bills of the judicial reform

Friday, April 26th 2013 - 07:20 UTC
Full article 31 comments
Scenes of aggression, insults and almost violence marked the 20 hours debate Scenes of aggression, insults and almost violence marked the 20 hours debate

Argentina’s Lower House passed early Thursday morning after an overnight and at time chaotic debate the most controversial bills contained in a judicial reform which the administration of President Cristina Fernandez is obsessed in having approved before mid May.

The amendments introduced to the Council of Magistrates bill was approved with 130 votes and will now return to the Senate, and later to the General Assembly.

The government had agreed on two amendments to the Council of Magistrates' bill allowing the Supreme Court to keep control of the judiciary budget and elect their assistants.

The other two bills which involve the creation of three new Cassation Courts and the regulation of injunctions against the state were signed into law by the Lower House.

The 130 votes was just enough to sustain the needed quorum and with a one vote majority to approve the controversial package which has been criticized from the opposition, by the Catholic Church, business and labour organizations and academia, which strongly question politicizing the Judiciary branch and violating several articles from the constitution.

Fearful of not having the sufficient votes, the government’s whip in the Lower House demanded an only vote on the whole package with the three bills. However in the heat of the discussion he finally agreed to the three votes and in one occasion the electronic screen failed to mark 130 but rather only 128, which meant rejection raucously celebrated by the opposition.

However two congress members said they had not been included in the vote and also did not at any time express abstention, thus demanding they be included. A second vote was taken and the bill reached the 130.

This triggered an immediate reaction with exchange of insults, yelling and attempts of fist fighting as well as cutting microphone cables, which ceased when the opposition marched out of the chamber claiming ‘fraud’.

Under the terms of the bill the Council of Magistrates will be elected by universal vote with candidates representing political parties, and which has become the most rejected of all amendments.

However the bill still has to be again addressed by the Senate, the General Assembly which brings together both houses, (this because of the modification introduced to the original bill), finally Cristina Fernandez signs it and then, according to the timetable of the law the election must be organized by May 13.

Outside Congress tens of thousands gathered and followed the debate on screen and open microphones applauding and supporting the arguments from opposition lawmakers.

Categories: Politics, Argentina.

Top Comments

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  • Benson

    well I'll say this for Argentine politics, at least it's never boring.

    Apr 26th, 2013 - 07:47 am 0
  • manchesterlad

    So the government will now control the judiciary, they will use this to pass the media law & control the press, they already control the central bank therefore

    Control of Judiciary + Press + Banking = Dictatorship!!!

    Apr 26th, 2013 - 10:14 am 0
  • Mendoza Canadian

    I always said that they elected a dictator...amazing....

    Apr 26th, 2013 - 10:24 am 0
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