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The Senate of Chile began the session to vote the impeachment against Sebastián Piñera

The Senate of Chile began its session on Tuesday to vote impeachment of the president, Sebastián Piñera, initiated by the opposition, who seeks to remove him because allegedly favored the sale of a family business during his first government.

The crucial session comes just five days after Chileans go to the polls to elect a president for the 2022-2026 term, the winner of which will receive command on March 11, 2022 from Piñera or his successor, if removed.

For Piñera to be removed 29 of the 43 votes are needed of the Senate. The opposition has 24 votes and the remaining five should come from government legislators, which would be difficult.

Image from last week of the Chilean Chamber of Deputies showing several opposition legislators as they celebrate after the special impeachment session against the president, Sebastián Piñera. Photo: EFE

Minutes before the start of the session, the opposition senator Jorge Pizarro, vice president of the upper house, said that “let’s see how many wills there are one way or another. ”

The session began with the presentation of the cause by the Secretary of the Senate, Raúl Guzmán, and continued with the intervention of Deputy Gael Yeomans, who summarized the charges that weigh on the president and synthesized the grounds of the accusers that led the deputies to admit the trial by 78 votes in favor, 68 against and three abstentions.

Later the senators will listen to two other accusing deputies, to the defense of the president and successive replies from the exhibitors.

We are talking about corruption ” of the mandatarior, Yeomans said, adding that Piñera favored the sale of a family property agreed in a tax haven to avoid taxes, which “goes against the probity principle of the constitution.”

The charges against the president are “having openly violated the constitution and the laws” and “having seriously compromised the honor of the nation” and will be voted on separately.

In the afternoon the legislators they will have 15 minutes each to base their vote, which would extend the session until early Wednesday morning. When the deputies admitted the accusation, they met for 22 hours.

Piñera remains in office after the admission of impeachment and is only prohibited from leaving Chile pending the decision of the Senate. If he is removed, Congress will choose his successor from among any citizen who must complete his term.

Deputies already gave the yes

Last week, the Chilean Chamber of Deputies approved the impeachment promoted by the opposition against Piñera, after a marathon session that lasted for more than 20 hours. The accusation was approved by 78 votes in favor, 67 against and 3 abstentions.

The opposition promoted the impeachment against Piñera after the Pandora Papers revealed alleged irregularities in the sale of Minera Dominga by a company of the president’s children in the British Virgin Islands to a close friend of the presidential family, just nine months after he took office for his first non-consecutive term (2010-2014).

Piñera, one of the largest fortunes in Chile, defends that he dissociated himself from his businesses through blind trusts in 2009 and that he revealed it it was already dismissed in 2017.

Source: AP

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