The Chilean Senate began an important session on Tuesday, five days after the presidential election, four months after the end of his term, to vote on whether to oust President Sebastian Piera. Investigation An international company called Pandora Papers will link him to the millionaire sales of a mining company through operations at tax havens.
This is the final debate to seal the president’s fate since last week’s House of Representatives Approval The indictment against him in a lengthy and controversial session and the 78 votes needed to reach the Senate would be the last word, advancing fairly.
They hope the final vote from the government will be in favor of PinaraThe opposition is adding only 24 seats in the Senate, with a minimum of 29 votes needed to remove him.
Regardless of the outcome, it will be a historic session, as it is the first time since the restoration of democracy in Chile in 1990 that a president has been charged with a constitutional offense.
The day began at 09:30 with a reading of the basics of indictment and defense.
Gael Yeomans, Leonardo Soto and Gabriel Silber then presented three representatives of the accused party, who did not abandon criticism of the president and called on senators to examine the evidence before the vote.
“It simply came to our notice then Sebastien Pinera put an end to active abuse and impunity. Shows a network of partnerships, profits and personal friendships. Conflict of interests and whether it can operate in an unethical manner has affected not only the reputation of the country but also democracy. It has caused immeasurable damage, “said Yomans.
He added that the president’s action was “immoral, unpatriotic and unconstitutional” because it appeared that his economic interests could extend beyond the country. “It’s about raising the bar and bar for how we measure our leaders … We are talking about corruption“, He said.
Choto regretted that Pinara did not participate in the discussion. “This is a special day for our democracy. It would have been very useful for him to be here and his family to have cooperated with the investigation,” he said.
He explained that facts that seem embarrassing because they address issues that have not yet been discussed in depth will be heard at the venue. “We will talk all day about public corruption, conflicts of interest from the presidency and impunity. It cannot be reduced because nothing has damaged our democracy more than impunity,” he said.
Finally, Silper confirmed that Pinara was not acting in accordance with the ethics that all public servants are required to comply with.
“The gap between those who fulfill our responsibilities and the citizens greatly illustrates the social explosion (2019). It is based on the loss of credibility, on the basis of the honesty of public actions,” he said.
The Pandora documents were marked back and forth because, in addition to confronting this constitutional charge, they exposed the “dishonest act” of a president who, like his family, was today accused by the Ministry of Public Works. And its intimate environment.
The first round of interventions was shut down by Pinera’s lawyer Jorge Calves, who reiterated on several occasions that neither the president nor his family controlled the company that ran the tax haven.
“I urge you to reject the current constitutional allegation, which will show that there is no truth and no legal basis … it starts from the wrong premise and can only be seen as an attempt to distort the basic facts,” he said. Warned.
Then, delegates will have the opportunity to reflect on the defense argument, and Calves will be able to respond to them at the final presentation.
After these interventions, there will be a break. The session will resume at 3:00 pm, and from that moment on, all 43 members of the Senate will have a maximum of 15 minutes to express their position in favor of or against the indictment.
Once they are completed, voting will take place, which is expected to take place at the end of the day.
An investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) into the Pandora Papers revealed in early October. One of Chile’s richest businessmen, Carlos Delano, a friend of Pinara, bought Minera Dominga in 2010, in which the presidential family held a majority stake.. $ 152 million was paid in three installments through the tax-hiding British Virgin Islands.
The last allocation that year depended on the Pinara-led government, which, during its first presidency, did not use the regulatory changes that prevented the establishment of the mine and its port, which it effectively did. The move would at least indicate a serious conflict of interest, as it would allow investors, including the president’s family, to make millionaire profits in the short term.
The president has denied the allegations from the outset, but failed to stop the House of Representatives from advancing on a controversial constitutional charge that erupted amid controversy last week. 15 hours Time followed to buy and allow his colleague Giorgio Jackson to come to the place after being isolated by Covid.
As such, the session began on Monday with the approval of the indictment against the President and ended on Tuesday.
The complaint reaching the Senate is 99 pages long and consists of two chapters. The first indicates that Pinara violated “the principle of ethics and the right to live in a non-polluting environment” because he recognized the operation of the mine, despite the risks stated by environmental organizations. Second, it promises that “it has seriously compromised the nation’s honor by failing to comply with international legal obligations, and has caused serious damage to the reputation of the President’s institution.”
In the expected response, the government on Monday began circulating a document entitled ‘Myths and misrepresentations of the constitutional charge’, arguments seeking to refute the allegations and they are expected to be taken up by official senators.
Pinera denies acting illegally and separates his family from the business run by the tax haven, raising suspicions of tax evasion and money laundering.