July 23, 2014
Opposition praises Boudou summons, differs on leave
K allies say VP is victim of media operation
Political leaders were quick to react to Judge Ariel Lijo’s decision to summon Vice-President Amado Boudou for questioning yesterday, with opposition members celebrating the move, while Kirchnerite allies questioned the “media campaign” against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s number two.
While they agreed on the celebratory tone, opposition politicians differed on whether Boudou should resign his post or take a leave of absence.
Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich yesterday repeated that Boudou “as always” would make himself available to the justice system, while also noting that it “was a strange coincidence” that the summons had been issued for July 15, a day during which Boudou is expected to be acting president due to the expected participation of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner at the BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.
Defence Minister Agustín Rossi emphasized that Boudou has received unfair treatment by the press, arguing that the coverage given to Buenos Aires City Mayor Maurcio Macri has been “totally different” even though the PRO leader has been indicted in an espionage case.
For her part lawmaker Juliana Di Tullio, president of the FpV caucus in the Lower House of Congress, celebrated that Boudou would “finally be able to properly defend himself because I think that the vice-president’s constitutional rights have been denied” by Lijo’s delay in issuing the summons.
As vice-president, Boudou is also president of the Senate, and he received support from the three unions that represent legislative employees, who noted that “the president of this legislative body has always made himself available to the legal system.”
Diversity of opinions
Mauricio Macri, while demanding that “the legal system be granted independence” to carry out their investigation, also considered it a “secondary matter” whether Boudou resigns or takes a leave from his post.
Radical party (UCR) leaders such as Senator Ernesto Sanz and lawmaker Julio Cobos likewise expressed satisfaction that “the legal system has moved forward” but insisted that Boudou request a leave of absence while the case develops. Noting that it was important “for the truth to be known”, Sanz said that from the “opposition there won’t be any political manoeuvering to undermine the government’s political power.”
This cautious stance was in contrast to that espoused by fellow Broad Front-UNEN lawmaker Elisa Carrió and that held by PRO lawmakers Laura Alonso and Patricia Bullrich. They opened the door to bringing impeachment proceedings against Boudou, which had been previously called for in 2013. Alonso, as vice-president of the Impeachment Committee in the Lower House, promised to look into how the opposition could move in that direction despite not having a majority.
Herald staff with Télam, DyN