Pinera saved from Pandora Papers impeachment 5 days before election

Santiago de Chile, Nov 16 (EFE).- Chilean President Sebastian Pinera, was acquitted Tuesday in the political trial carried out by the Senate for alleged irregularities revealed in the Pandora’s Papers as they sought his dismissal only five days before general elections.

Pinera will not be removed from office and will be able to end his mandate, which ends in March 2022, as neither of the two accusations for which he was tried obtained the necessary two-thirds majority (29 of the 43 seats) to be approved.

The result was foreseeable, as the opposition controls only 24 seats and needed to add five pro-government supporters, but only one of the 19 ruling-party senators abstained, while the rest rejected the motion.

The process took place in a climate of electoral effervescence and political polarization due to Sunday’s presidential elections, and the opposition was accused of making electoral use of it from the ruling party.

The prosecution blamed Pinera for having lacked the principle of “probity” and for “seriously compromising the honor of the Nation,” based on what was revealed by the Pandora Papers.

This journalistic investigation revealed last month that the Chilean president sold his shares of the Mina Dominga mining project in a tax haven in 2010, shortly after starting his first term, and through a sales contract in which there was an environmental policy clause.

“It was an accusation without any constitutional or legal basis, based on false facts or simple conjectures, cleverly related, which only responded to electoral logic,” the government said in a statement after the results of the vote were announced.

Juan Jose Ossa, the presidency’s Minister Secretary-General, told the press that Pinera’s innocence had been proven.

Piñera defended on several occasions that he dissociated himself from his business through blind trusts in 2009 and that what was revealed by the Pandora Papers was already dismissed in 2017 in the courts of Justice. EFE


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