In another episode of Argentina’s main political scandal, President Alberto Fernández was indicted for hosting the birthday party for the First Lady, Fabiola Yáñez, on July 14, 2020, when a severe quarantine was in effect in the region. metropolitan area of Buenos Aires.
The case, known as the Olivos-gate because it took place at Olivos’ official residence, angered Argentines and heated the country’s political debate two weeks before the election primaries Argentine legislative elections, scheduled for September 12.
The party, which was attended by at least 13 people, was held in secret and was not revealed until August 5, when photos of the meeting were leaked to the press. As the first image released showed a smaller number of attendees, Fernández even suggested that it was a manipulation or that the recording was of a meeting held before the pandemic.
A few days later, however, another photograph emerged, more revealing, which showed 13 guests celebrating Fabíola’s 39th birthday, with cake, dinner and waiters, leaving no doubt that the meeting was held at the official residence and on the date indicated. Fernández then backtracked and apologized.
At this stage of the quarantine, residents of Greater Buenos Aires could not meet at other people’s homes, and only essential workers could circulate. Shops and schools were closed and to go more than 500 meters from home or use public transport, you had to present a certificate.
This Thursday (26), federal prosecutor Ramiro González accused Fernández and his wife of violating the presidential decree, and both will face trial. If found guilty, the Argentine president could be sentenced to six months to two years in prison for breaking the very rule he has established and for endangering public health.
Also on Thursday, Fernández sent judge Sebastián Casanello, responsible for the process, a request for acquittal, with the proposal to donate half of his salary for four months to the Malbrán Institute, a laboratory that carries out research and studies. tests for coronaviruses. In the text, he states that “the conduct does not enter into a substantial criminal legal figure and does not affect my reputation and the honor which I enjoy”.
The argument that the representative develops in 36 pages is that, as there was no contamination during the meeting, there was no crime. “No sanitary measures have been violated, after all there has been no spread of the Sars-Cov-2 virus.” The judge did not comment.
Election polls for the September 12 primary and the November 14 legislative elections indicate fierce competition. Although the ruling Frente de Todos coalition leads the polls, its main opponent, Juntos por el Cambio, led by former President Mauricio Macri, has gained momentum. According to a survey by Rouvier & Asociados, members of the government hold 36.7% and opponents 29.5%.
Fernández’s management approval is on the decline and has reached 30%, according to a D’Alessio / Berensztein poll. For 37% of the electorate, the party scandal will influence the vote.