Legal experts bash ‘testimonial’ candidacies

While twenty-five constitutional scholars yesterday filed before the National Electoral Court their objections against the ruling party’s “testimonial” candidacies, Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli said once again he would “eventually” and “when the time comes” take his seat in the Lower House of Congress.

The legal experts remarked that the candidacies of Scioli, Cabinet Chief Sergio Massa and former president Néstor Kirchner, head of the ruling party’s slate in Buenos Aires province, are “not valid.” They added that “150 years of constitutional doctrine” say so.

Constitutional scholar Daniel Sabsay yesterday said, regarding Scioli’s and Massa’s candidacies, that “the lack of certainty about whether the candidates’ will take their seats if elected is a very serious matter,” adding that in the case of the two Kirchnerite officials “it is clear that such willingness does not exist or that they left open their options to see what to do sometime in the future, which violates the principles of the representative system.”

He added that “it is not enough” for them to say that they will “eventually” resign after being elected. “They must step down right now,” Sabsay said.
Among the scholars who signed the writ against the “testimonial” candidacies are Pablo Manili, Roberto Gargarella, Jorge Amaya, José Onaindia y Alfredo Vítolo.

National Electoral Court sources told the news agency DyN on Tuesday night that Scioli and Massa had sent notes making clear that “basically, they will honour the constitutional mandate unless something unexpected happens.”

Scioli noted in the writ that he “presumably” plans to sit in the Lower House, thus presumably leaving the door open to make a final decision when the time comes to take the oath on December 10.
Sabsay noted that in Spanish “eventual” means “contingent, conditional,” adding that Scioli “far from shedding light on his plans “has darkened the whole picture.” Or, he added ironically, “has made it all crystal clear in a Freudian sense.”

Yesterday Scioli, despite his remarks about making up his mind when the time comes, lambasted Buenos Aires Mayor Mauricio Macri for “forcing” his former Lieutenant-Mayor Gabriela Michetti “to resign to run for Congress” in the centre-right PRO’s slate in the Federal Capital.

Do they really think that from a congressional seat they can do what can’t be done? In an Executive branch post much more things can be accomplished,” Scioli said.

Also yesterday, Justicialist Victory Front Trustee Jorge Landau told reporters that the National Electoral Court had not requested Scioli and Massa to state whether they plan to take their seats or not.
“We did it to help the judges to have a better understanding, not because they had asked us to to it,” he added.

Yesterday afternoon there were rumours that the three-judge National Electoral Court —made up by Rodolfo Munné, Alberto Dalla Vía and Santiago Corcuera— was going to ask Scioli and Massa whether they intend to take their seats if elected and that an answer to this request was crucial for the future of their candidacies.


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