Deputy Álvaro de Lamadrid of the opposition JxC-UCR (Juntos por el Cambio + Unión Cívica Radical) coalition Tuesday filed a motion before the Lower House to seek the impeachment of President Alberto Fernández and Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner for poor performance and possible crimes in the exercise of their functions.
De Lamadrid based his initiative on another bill currently going through parliamentary debate whereby the Executive hopes to get greater powers allegedly for a better handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
The text that entered Congress in search of concentrating on the President the sum of public power, so that he can apply new measures and restrictions in the framework of the pandemic, threatens the independence of branches of government, said De Lamadrid. He added that it is unconstitutional to mess with the autonomies of the provinces.
In De Lamadrid's view, Fernández took the parliamentary path towards greater autonomy following the judicial escalation against [Buenos Aires City Mayor] Horacio Rodríguez Larreta over face-to-face classes.” The lawmaker sees in that controversy the the origin of the Bill which has already been passed by the Senate.
In other words, De Lamadrid considers Fernández is seeking from Congress something the Constitution prohibits explicitly and regardless of how democratic it may seem to follow parliamentary channels, should be removed from office.
The lawmaker insisted that article 29 of the National Constitution, says that Congress cannot grant the national Executive, nor the provincial legislatures, extraordinary powers to the provincial governors, nor the sum of public power, nor grant them submissions or supremacies whereby the life, honor or fortunes of Argentines are at the mercy of governments or any person and that acts of this nature entail an insurmountable nullity, and will subject those who formulate, consent or sign them to the responsibility and punishment due to the infamous traitors to the homeland.
Thus the representatives of the people who hold the honor of holding a seat in the legislative branch demand” that the President complies with the Constitution, according to De Lamadrid's bill, which has been endorsed by Deputies Mónica Frade, Gonzalo del Cerro, Héctor Stefani, Federico Zamarbide, Pablo Torello and Francisco Sánchez.
The JxC-UCR lawmakers criticized President Fernández's emergency decrees throughout the pandemic as well as his speeches and those of Vice President Fernández de Kirchner against the Legislative and Judicial Branches,” which “threaten the system of division of powers that prevails in Argentina in refrence to the Covid Emergency Law bill submitted by the ruling party, which seeks to tie the level of restrictions to the epidemiological data.
As per Argentina's Constitutional system which in this regard is very similar to that of the United States, the House of Deputies should act as the accusatory part while the Senate would be the judging body. Given the majority the ruling Frente de Todos (FdT) coalition has in the Upper House, the odds that this bill may end up in a removal of either of the accused are almost non-existent. For now.