UPDATE: The official session failed shortly after 11:30am, as only thirty deputies were present. Despite the absence of the majority blocs, legislators proceeded with an informal debate of the issues.
Deputies are convening a special session in the Chamber this morning to discuss the elimination of judicial immunity for all members of the 1País Alliance and the head of the PRO group, Nicolás Massot. Margarita Stolbizer and Sergio Massa announced their intention to give up these privileges – known in Spanish as fueros – at a press conference last week.
The debate began at 11 am, after the legislators renounced their immunity in front of a notary public. Because fueros, as established in Articles 69 and 70 of the National Constitution, apply to each party as a whole, legislators will now approve their removal for all members of the blocs of Frente Renovador and GEN. Massa seeks a domino effect. On Monday, he introduced a bill to eliminate “privileges in criminal matters” for legislators of all parties, henceforth requiring them to follow normal judicial proceedings.
There is one catch: neither Cambiemos or Frente para la Victoria officially endorse the session. “If Cambiemos comes to the table,” Massa told TN this morning, legislators will begin a related debate over the impeachment of ex-Planning Minister Julio De Vido for his alleged misuse of public funds. They will discuss an initiative introduced by Deputy Julio Raffo to “obtain copies of criminal cases that gravely implicate Deputy De Vido” and “initiate procedures to revoke his parliamentary privileges indicated in article 70 of the National Constitution.”
President of Cambiemos Mario Negri already asked the Chamber to “not use the Constitution” for De Vido’s case. PRO Deputy Eduardo Amado considers the entire session “a marketing ploy” for 1País. As to how the meeting proceeds – veremos.