The Chilean Chamber of Deputies approves the constitutional charges against Piñera

The opposition is celebrating the “historic” day and admitting that it is difficult to get the votes forward in the Senate

The Chilean Chamber of Deputies, after more than 21 hours of meetings and speeches, approved the constitutional indictment against President Sebastián Piñera for the sale of Minera Dominga, a transaction included in the Pandora papers that motivated the Chilean prosecutor to investigate possible bribery offenses initiate.

The Chilean Chamber of Deputies approves the constitutional charges against Piñera
The Chilean Chamber of Deputies approves the constitutional charges against Piñera

With 78 votes in favor, 67 against and 3 abstentions, the marathon session, which began on Monday with the presentation of the indictment by MP Jaime Naranjo, whose speech lasted more than 15 hours, was also concluded by Deputy Giorgio Jackson , which happened after 1:00 a.m. local time after his detention ended for being in close contact with a positive for COVID-19.

“After this long presentation that I made to ensure that we in our House of Representatives have the votes to endorse the constitutional charges against President Piñera, I want it to be an example and a testimony to that this Parliament is able to put an end to the abuses and impunity in which this government has acted, “concluded Naranjo in his speech, reports ‘La Tercera’.

After Naranjo’s speech, Piñera’s lawyer Jorge Gálvez presented the president’s defense for more than five hours.

After the indictment is approved in the House of Commons, it goes to the Senate to get a “green light”, where the opposition needs two-thirds to oust the president just two weeks before the first round of the presidential election takes place in the country. To remove Piñera from office, the opposition must convince five senators from the ruling party to vote for impeachment.

The opposition’s prospects were not favorable at the beginning of the indictment process as they were concerned that Naranjo would not be able to extend his speech and therefore not get the necessary votes, a forecast that worsened when Christian Democrats MP Jorge Sabag gave In the afternoon it was announced that he had just undergone a PCR test and was not doing well so that he could not take part. Voting could only be done in person, virtual participation was not possible.

In this regard, they transferred from the PD Sabag the need to attend the meeting and convinced him to travel to Valparaíso, where the Legislative Office is located, to undergo another diagnostic test, since the only symptom he suffered was “Fatigue” was.

After the news and knowing that the opposition did not have the votes in his absence, the government sent the regional secretary of the Ministry of Health of Valparaíso, Georg Huebner, to supervise the arrival near Sabag to help him at the entry prevent. In a diversionary strategy, the MP was finally able to enter the room to vote between the allegations made against La Moneda, formulating a strategy to prevent the constitutional allegation.

Naranjo has called the day “historic” thanks to “the association of the opposition” which “served as a tribute and recognition to all those Chilean families who suffered so much during this government, some for grave human rights abuses, others for the unworthy conditions, where you live.”

Despite the success that the opposition has achieved in the Chamber of Deputies, Naranjo himself recognized that the scenario in the Senate is completely different, although he has kept calm to ensure that “it is difficult to get the votes”. “You have” faith and hope “to convince the senators.

The indicting text, presented by the opposition after the prosecution launched an investigation against Piñera, consists of two parts, in which the president is accused of serious violations of integrity and the other defends that Piñera has challenged the president’s honor has land.

The publication of the Pandora Papers, the result of the journalistic investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ, for its acronym), caused quite a stir in the country as it became known that the president could be involved in possible tax offenses.

According to published information, Piñera took part in his first term in 2010 in the sale of Minera Dominga to his personal friend Carlos Alberto Délano via a tax haven in the British Virgin Islands.

The investigation confirms that Piñera transferred shares in Minera Dominga for $ 152 million in three payments, the last of which is subject to the government’s decision to designate the land on which the mineral is located as a nature reserve, which will come from. The environmental authority was rejected in 2011.

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