Kirchner’s deputy Martín Soria was chosen to serve in Argentina’s justice ministry following the departure of Marcela Losardo, according to the Clarín newspaper published on Monday (15).
Losardo resigned ten days ago and his replacement has been surrounded by uncertainty, making it a challenge for President Alberto Fernández. He came under pressure from the opposition to choose a name that wasn’t just aligned with Cristina Kirchner. There was, on the part of anti-Kirchnerism, the speech that the former president wants to control justice.
Soria was not the most cited name, nor the closest to the vice-president, but the deputy, in the lineage of Kirchnerism, defends the concept of law and lodged a complaint with the Council of Justice and Magistracy against former employees linked to the former Mauricio Macri. and judges, according to Clarín.
Justice is a sensitive issue for the current government, as Cristina responds to seven cases of corruption, money laundering and bribe payments.
The feeling that the executive wants to interfere with the judiciary would hurt the Argentine leader’s allied base in a year of legislative elections, which will reshape Congress for the second half of his term. The vote is scheduled for October 24.
Cristina has an aggressive speech in relation to justice. In a hearing in early March, the former CEO, testifying in one of the lawsuits against her, said she was a victim of political persecution and that the action had been constructed for electoral purposes by Macri supporters. “We have a serious problem in Argentina, where the courts behave like a society.”
On January 21, the vice-president suffered a defeat with the conviction of Lázaro Báez for corruption and money laundering. The sentence could complicate the current MP’s processes with ties to the businessman, such as the charge of money laundering at the hotels the Kirchner family owns in Patagonia.
Sentenced to 12 years in prison, Báez is the businessman who benefited the most from state contracts during the period when Néstor and Cristina Kirchner held the presidency (2003-2015).
Losardo, the former justice minister, had taken a moderate stance on the reform proposed by the executive – so far there is no date for the proposal to be voted on by the House.
The opposition believes that the change in legislation would aim to free Cristina from his prosecution. However, the text does not provide that current cases change jurisdiction.
In the proceedings, Cristina questions the bias of the judges. The Supreme Court having ruled in 2018 that the definition of these magistrates was legitimate, there is little chance of changing the conduct of these actions. Unless changes are made to the Supreme Court, which initially is not part of the reform.
The new legislation is complex. One of its points is that judges are no longer the investigators of cases and that actions are carried out by prosecutors, in a system similar to that of Brazil.
Another point is to dilute the centralization of processes linked to politicians, today concentrated in the courts of Comodoro Py, in Buenos Aires, considered by the Kirchnerists as biased in favor of Macri’s supporters.
The new law would also create new regional courts to try to speed up the analysis of cases and prevent them from expiring. This point is strongly criticized by the opposition for having forced the creation, in times of economic crisis, of more than 3,000 jobs in the judiciary.
According to a study by the Synopsis institute, 60% of Argentines say that judicial reform would give more power to the executive within the judiciary, while only 5% say it is an urgent change.