The Committee of Constitutional Affairs yesterday approved a motion for the members of the Lower House to debate whether the Planning Minister under the Kirchner administrations, Julio De Vido, should continue being one of their peers.
However, and despite the numerous jabs that the high-profile members of the Cambiemos coalition — President Mauricio Macri included — took at De Vido during the week, all indicators point at them not getting enough support to achieve their goal.
In order to remove the former minister from the chamber of deputies, Cambiemos needs a two-thirds majority of the deputies present in the session to support their initiative. The deputies representing the Victory Front (FpV) the Evita Movement, the Civic Front for Santiago [del Estero], the Frente por la Concordia Misionero, and the Federal Commitment, already anticipated that they will vote against the measure. The four deputies representing the Leftist Front (FIT) announced they will abstain, which in this context helps De Vido.
Since the Macri administration and its allies within the initiative add up to between 150 and 160 votes overall, they would need that more than 18 deputies from caucuses that won’t support them to not attend the session. Even if De Vido doesn’t show up to the debate to avoid having 160 deputies say mean things to him in front of the entire country, that probably won’t happen.
Knowing they will face an unfavorable scenario on the floor, Cambiemos’ members changed their approach for the initiative: they will try to block the abstentions and expose deputies who won’t vote in favor of removing De Vido. Several party representatives had already started to transmit the message during the past week, led by deputy and co-founder of Cambiemos Elisa “Lilita” Carrió, who also spearheaded the motion that brings us here.
- Read more: Without Enough Votes to Expel De Vido, Govt Appears Set on Shaming the Representatives Who Abstain
Last Wednesday Carrió said that “it’s a moral scandal that someone who has been indicted in the Once railway tragedy case” is a member of Congress. “Tell me, is it or is it not a moral scandal that a man indicted for unlawful association and indicted for the death of 51 people [making reference to the Once tragedy] remains in his seat?” she asked her peers in the Committee of Constitutional Affairs.
President Mauricio Macri himself yesterday joined the claims to have De Vido removed. “We are convinced that it will be very useful for the country to see if most of us are against impunity and seriously want a change,” he said in an interview with channel 4 of Jujuy.
“We have to work to consolidate the change. It’s a change that ties us with truth, transparency, with putting the state at the people’s service and not to favor politics. De Vido was a synonym of that, of having the state serve politics and a few people,” he added.
At the time this article is being written, the session is about to begin, and it’s expected to last several hours. We will provide updates and highlights as they happen.