Tucumán’s Administrative Appeals Court Judge Salvador Ruiz took to the air waves today to clarify the fact that the decision to annul the August 23 gubernatorial election was not based on whether it was fraudulent or not, but because the whole process had been “corrupted.”
“The discussion was not about how many votes the candidates had. If the process was corrupted, it’s logical consequence is to call a new election,”
stated Ruiz to Vorterix Radio when consulted on whether they had found any evidence of actions taken to change the election’s real outcome. He also clarified that the chamber could not look into fraud, since that falls under the Criminal Court’s duties.
On September 14, when the definitive recount declared the Victory Front (FpV) candidate Juan Manzur to be the winner of the turbulent Tucumán elections, it looked like the whole thing was over. It wasn’t .
The runner up, José Cano (Acuerdo para el Bicentenario party), had his party withdraw from the recount process and challenged the election after the provincial electoral board would not allow him to access security footage showing where ballot boxes were kept. The explanation? The information had been “damaged or couldn’t be recovered due to the number of times the hard drives had been restarted, which happened due to many power outages.”
On Wednesday, Tucuman’s Administrative Appeals Court upheld Cano’s challenge and decided to annul the elections and call for a new vote.
Ruiz defended the decision and claimed there’s “abundant precedent” to back it up.
Yesterday, Manzur’s party presented an appeal before the Provincial Supreme Court to overturn the chamber’s sentence and warned the scandal could en in federal intervention. You can read all about the possible scenarios Tucuman’s facing right here.
Along those lines, Marcelo Caponio, an FpV officer in Tucumán, said an intervention was feasible since it’s impossible to carry out a new election in 30 days:
“The sentence is an embarrassment, even coups d’etat carried in the ’70s weren’t carried out like this.”
“We’ll go until the last consequences with the chamber’s judges, either by pressing criminal charges or impeaching them. They can’t work for the judiciary ever again,” stated Caponio to Radio del Plata.
The scandal is not going anywhere.