Argentina's opposition Juntos por el Cambio (Together for Change) coalition Tuesday favored the impeachment of President Alberto Fernández, who had spoken in favor of Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner after prosecutors requested a 12-year prison sentence for her in a corruption case from when she was head of state.
The government's statement with respect to the process known as Causa Vialidad is a serious violation of the division of powers and the Constitution. These behaviors constitute a systematic attack on the judiciary, Congressman Ricardo Buryaile said on Twitter. Buryaile, a former Minister of Agriculture under Mauricio Macri, thus backed the initiative promoted by a group of lawmakers from the Radical Civic Union (UCR), a party within the JxC coalition.
Buryaile insisted that it is the exclusive competence of the House of Deputies to evaluate, in any case, whether the President of the Republic has sufficient suitability to fulfill the popular mandate entrusted by the Argentines, which is not entirely accurate, since the Lower House should bring the case before the Senate, who would do the evaluating.
Meanwhile, CFK gave a speech on her YouTube channel Tuesday in response to the prosecution's allegations. She claimed she was being targeted for political motives since a conviction would also entail her disenfranchisement.
Nothing, absolutely nothing of what they said was proven, who stressed her sentence has already been written. This is not a trial against me, it is a trial of Peronism, of national and popular governments, said the 69-year-old leader who ruled Argentina between 2007 and 2015.
As Vice-President, CFK has parliamentary immunity, so her going to prison is not imminent. She also argued that the prosecutors had requested a 12-year jail sentence because it meant the 12 years of the best government Argentina has had in the last decades, that is why they are asking for 12 years; that is why they are going to stigmatize and condemn me. If I were born 20 times, 20 times I would do the same, she underlined. They want to take revenge, this disciplines the political class so that nobody dares to do the same thing twice, Kirchner affirmed.
Macri's PRO Party Chairwoman Patricia Bullrich said that CFK instead of defending herself against the accusations, talks about something else entirely, which is a typical stalling maneuver.
The Prosecutor's Office estimated CFK has been behind deeds against the Argentine State worth about US$ 1 billion. The trial started in 2019 and a ruling is expected before the end of 2022.
CFK has already been acquitted in several cases dating back to her consecutive presidencies, but she still faces five trials.
In addition to the support from local groups and politicians, CFK was backed by former presidents Evo Morales of Bolivia and Dilma Rousseff of Brazil.
I express my unconditional solidarity with the vice president of Argentina and president of the Argentine Senate, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Rousseff wrote on Twitter.
”As we had warned, sister @CFKArgentina is the victim of an inclement attack of 'lawfare', or political warfare that uses the judiciary as a weapon, to disenfranchise her. We repudiate the actions of prosecutors who imitate (Brazilian) Judge (Sergio) Moro,” Morales argued.