Argentine President Cristina Fernández defended her controversial judiciary reform and announced that deep reforms require “amendments to the Constitution”. However, she emphasized she would not push any initiative in that sense.
“Constitution shall be modified to ensure a complete justice reform, but I am not going to propose any change; that’s why I've sent the reform bills to the Lower House” said the Argentine president at a ceremony Tuesday evening in La Matanza State University.
Referring to the debates and claims of unconstitutionality of the Magistrates Council reform initiated by opposition and various judges’ unions, Cristina Fernández called on “the interpretations from all judges, from those that don't serve personal or corporate interests but the whole society.”
“We can see that justice in Argentina works at two speeds: if those involved are powerful corporations, Justice is slow. Without going to details I could mention the Media Law which has been paralyzed for almost four years with injunctions, the same could be said with the Rural”.
The president refers to fair grounds belonging to the Argentine Rural Society in downtown Buenos Aires, Palermo, and which her government wants to take over arguing they were bought cheaply during the military regime.
This is not the first time that Cristina Fernandez promises there will be no constitutional reform during her mandate. Last March first when the opening of this year’s session in Congress, she said: “keep cool, there is not going to be any reform of the constitution”. It was precisely when she anticipated the Justice reform compacted into six most controversial bills that are in process in the Argentine Congress, and which her government’s working majority has almost finished approving.
Cristina Fernandez also criticized opposition lawmakers that have resisted the bills proposed by the Executive. “How is it possible that out of six bills they don’t support even one? How is it possible that they are against having the members of the Magistrates Council elected by universal vote? How is it possible that only judges, magistrates or lawyers can vote for them?”
“Sure there are victims in the Justice system but not vestals, nor in the Executive nor in the Legislative and much less outside the branches of government”, added Cristina Fernandez.
The announcement is considered significant because members of the opposition and analysts believe that Cristina Fernandez wants to ensure a strong majority in next October’s mid term election with sufficient votes (a special majority is needed) to push an amendment that would open the way for her to bid a second consecutive re-election, currently barred by the constitution.