Well, that’s it.
After being haunted for days by the most embarrassing and absurd political power struggle in recent memory, it looks like this sad battle has finally been (un) resolved.
And it appears that Cristina will not even attend the Inauguration Ceremony in Congress, a decision motivated by President-elect Mauricio Macri’s move to file an injunction last night against the Government’s Notary General’s assurances that Cristina Kirchner’s mandate ends on the 24th hour of December 10 or “whenever Macri is sworn-in.”
It is laughable that, after all its extensive coverage, we’re still talking about this travesty two days before Mauricio Macri is inaugurated, especially considering the many other pressing issues circling the skies of Argentina today. But both the President and the President-elect are solely responsible for this.
With the clock still ticking, the discussion between them suddenly turned to the language on Section 93 of the Argentine Constitution and the way it should be interpreted.
“On assuming office, the President and Vice-President shall take oath before the President of the Senate and before Congress assembled, respecting their religious beliefs, to: ‘perform with loyalty and patriotism the office of President (or Vice-President) of the Nation, and to faithfully observe the Constitution of the Argentine Nation, and to cause it to be observed.'”
The question was, for some reason, when it is exactly that Cristina stops being President. Is it at midnight? 8 AM? 5 PM? 11:59 PM? TELL US!
When consulted about it, the Government’s Notary General issued a statement yesterday, explaining that Cristina’s term ends on December 10 at 11:59 PM or whenever Macri is sworn-in that day. Macri rejected this notion arguing that, in fact, Cristina’s term ends on December 9 at 11:59 PM (which, if correct, would mean that on December 10, Argentina would not have a president for a few hours, until Macri is sworn-in in Congress at noon.)
Still with me? Good.
Macri, unhappy with the previous statement, decided to challenge this and file an injunction. And prosecutor Oscar Di Lello seemed to agree with him, so he sent the injunction to court.
Now, while the judge in charge hasn’t made a decision on this yet, the move was enough to infuriate Cristina who, according to AFI head Oscar Parrilli, decided then to skip the Inauguration Ceremony altogether because the President-elect was “trying to overtake the administration by force.”
Not only that, Parrilli said “this ruling” (which is absolutely not a ruling) means that Argentina “will be without a president for 12 hours” and compared the entire move to a coup d’etat.
And since the justice system “has already decided to strip Cristina of her presidential powers” before her term is over (which, again, totally didn’t happen because the judge hasn’t ruled anything about it yet), then she refuses to attend the ceremony under these conditions.
So there you have it, in the end Cristina got what she wanted: a perfect reason not to attend the Inauguration Ceremony on Thursday.
While Macri could have just avoided this political circus entirely and focus on his ceremony, he decided to engage. And lost.
He could have taken the moral high ground and be the adult in the room while Cristina threw a tantrum in the corner.
Now it’s just become a competition to see who cries the loudest.