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December 22, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ministers renew support for Boudou

Defence Minister Agustín Rossi (left) delivers diplomas to gratuading Army officers yesterday.

As some key officials remain silent, VP sees backing ahead of rally

Several officials from the national government spoke up in defence of indicted Vice-President Amado Boudou, although several key members of the Executive remained conspiciously silent on the president’s number two.

Even though most of the key officials who have stayed silent throughout Boudou’s legal woes have yet to change their tune, there seemed to be a concerted effort to show at least some institutional support for the vice-president a day after he was confirmed to lead the July 9 Independence Day celebrations despite his indictment on bribery charges.

Although there were reports yesterday that Boudou would speak today, they had not been confirmed at press time. Late on Monday, the government confirmed Boudou would appear at today’s rally in Tucumán province alongside Governor José Alperovich and other government officials.

Yesterday, two ministers and a secretary of the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner administration expressed their confidence in Boudou.

Asked whether the national government has left Boudou on his own, Defence Minister Agustín Rossi replied, “no, not at all.”

He went on: “Who’s going to lead the July 9 celebrations? Boudou.” The answer appeared to confirm speculation that the move was a decision that was meant to send a message about continued support for the president.

The minister’s statements also implied that the decision could be read as an open support for the vice-president, who is facing a political storm over his alleged involvement in the case involving the printing company formerly known as Ciccone.

‘No reason’ for impeachment

Before heading an official event at the Libertador Building in downtown Buenos Aires, Rossi said the ruling Victory Front (FpV) was “absolutely right” in having rejected the impeachment requests against the Kirchnerite official in the Lower House.

“There’s no reason to move forward” with impeachment procedures, the defence minister said.

Rossi — a former head of the FpV caucus in the Lower House — also took aim at opposition representatives in Congress.

“Strangely enough, the (impeachment) request began in the Lower House, where some lawmakers are also indicted,” the official said.

But Rossi was not the only official defending the president’s number two.

Federal Planning Minister Julio De Vido said Boudou “has not received a sentence” but rather had been “sentenced by some media outlets.”

“I trust the vice-president. I know he is exercising his right to a defence, just like any other citizen,” De Vido told reporters after heading a seminar in Buenos Aires.

Along those same lines, Security Secretary Sergio Berni said government officials were “convinced of (Boudou’s) innocence.”

“This is not a corporativist defence — we believe in the innocence of the vice-president,” Berni told Radio La Red.

The latest words of support come as Boudou gets ready for his most high-profile public appearance since his indictment. The official confirmation that he would stand in for Fernández de Kirchner, who remains ill, followed reports that the provisional president of the Senate Gerardo Zamora would be taking the president’s place.

Boudou made his first public appearance in the country on Monday after his indictment in the Ciccone case (which took place while he was in Cuba on an official trip), hosting a reception for Armenian President Serzh Sargsyas.

Herald staff with DyN

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