Chile: Political Trial to Remove President Piñera Approved by Chamber of Deputies

On Monday, November 8, Chile’s Chamber of Deputies approved, with a 78-vote majority, to set in motion the proceedings of an impeachment that would remove Chilean president Sebastián Piñera from office.

Accusations against President Piñera have emerged as a result of the Pandora Papers leak, which revealed how Piñera closed an irregular mining project deal in the Virgin Islands. According to the Pandora Papers, this occurred during Piñera’s first presidential term (2010-2014).

After a session in the Chamber of Deputies that lasted for almost 24 hours, the motion to impeach Piñera was passed over to the Senate. Socialist parliamentarian Jaime Naranjo, responsible for formulating the charges against Piñera, gave an almost 15-hour speech so as to buy time for other deputies, who were waiting to conclude their COVID-19 quarantines, to participate in the vote.

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Piñera’s political trial and possible dismissal occurs less than two weeks before presidential elections take place. This is the second time Piñera, whose personal fortune exceeds €3 billion according to Forbes magazine, has had accusations leveled at him while in office. In 2019, the chamber of deputies filed charges against Piñera for human rights violations. On that occasion, a majority vote needed to trigger impeachment proceedings was not reached.

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Piñera’s current accusation will now pass before the Senate, where it must gain a two-thirds majority, this is, it must be approved by 29 senators, for it to pass.

Notwithstanding, President Piñera is not suspended from his functions while this process is being carried out. However, he may not leave the country without prior parliamentary approval.

 

 

Featured image: Chile’s Chamber of Deputies in session. Photo: RedRadioVE 

(RedRadioVE) by Patricia Ferrer

Translation: Orinoco Tribune

OT/GMS/SL

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Patricia Ferrer
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