It was the test of fire for the opposition and they did not pass it on. It is that the constitutional accusation against the Ministers of the Supreme Court's correctional chamber, Hugo Dolmestch, Carlos Künsemüller and Manuel Valderrama, for granting conditional freedom to seven convicts for human rights violations in the dictatorship, hit at the heart of the only problem that the opposition still unites. But after nine and a half hours of discussion it was inevitable that the bitter taste would be impregnated between the ranks of the former New Majority and the Frente Amplio, after 73 votes against and only 64 in favor of the defamation had not been approved and passed to the Senate, because of keeping it unmarked in its own opposing hosts, with the radical representatives and the Christian democracy that, together with the bancades of Chile Vamos, rejected it.
In this way, the opposition remained behind with only the warm and hard-won triumph of having the previous question, in a draw 69 votes in favor and 69 against, which left several internal tensions on the part of all paths.
The day in Valparaiso was tense, especially by the public and the repeated clash that caused the reproach and its processing in the three powers of the state, or rather, of two of them – the judiciary and the executive – against the one, the legislature.
Today they all had their eyes on the accusation signed by ten opposition members and led by the deputy PC, Carmen Hertz. However, La Moneda was a key player of the day, as government agencies supervised all day long and worked directly to prevent the slander from being approved.
The minister of the Segpres, Gonzalo Blumel, was responsible for conducting the negotiations. His efforts included not only pro-government parliamentarians, but also focused directly on important voices in the opposition. An interventionism that was criticized by the opposition, who accused the government of acting openly in favor of the three Supreme Court ministers.
"We have to call on the government not to intervene in this situation, let's be honest that the government does not vote, but intervenes (…) we have to maintain the autonomy of the parliament," said Manuel Monsalve, head of socialist block. Not only did he, deputy Hertz in the Chamber, speak directly about "collusion" between La Moneda and the Supreme Court and he gathered the controversial meeting between President Sebastián Piñera and the head of the highest court, Haroldo Brito.
The goal of La Moneda was always, as on other occasions, the votes of the DC and succeeded. During the afternoon there was a division of seven votes for and seven against the accusation, a complex balance that led Minister Blumel to concentrate on breaking it, as radical rejection votes were already guaranteed.
According to what happened last night in the halls of Congress and the Chamber's environment, the agreement between the government and part of the DC Caucus varied from a number of points of tax reform to the reform of the pension system. to the singing of the permanence of the secretary of state aid networks, Luis Castillo, in his position, interrogated weeks ago by the phalanx for his involvement in the murder of former president Eduardo Frei Montalva.
Blumel's efforts were efficient, the opening balance in the DC of seven and seven was broken and after midnight only four delegates of the phalanx voted for the accusation: Victor Torres, Raul Soto, Mario Venegas and Gabriel Ascencio, who said they were square on the line of & # 39; the defense of human rights & # 39 ;.
From the phalanx they defended themselves and confirmed that for these kinds of subjects they prioritized the freedom of conscience, while of the radical party, their mate Carlos Maldonado, recalled that "from the very first day we do not have the criterion that by the criminal chamber of the Supreme Court in those statements, and we do not think that people who have committed such crimes are free, and for that reason, and to prevent that, it is necessary to amend the legislation ".
The Macaya factor
The accusation caused not only criticism and problems in the opposition, but also in the law. After the tie was completed on the previous question in the room, Troy burned in the UDI. An annoyance that last night was strongly felt by the absence of the leader of the unionist caucus, the deputy Javier Macaya, who left Chile for Spain to go on holiday with his family.
In the UDI they criticized the absence of anyone with harshness, and they also want to apply for community presidency at the end of the year, because they understand that given his position as head of the caucus, he had priority to coordinate the deputies, to check the voices and to provide scenarios, such as the one given last night with the previous question, that by binding the 69 to 69 in the hemisphere, the accusation could proceed to its substantive discussion. What the UDI was most bothering, she confessed, is that it could have been avoided with just one voice.
Not only in the corners of Congress was the inconvenience experienced, but also in the gremialism chat that immediately came on fire. Although there were four UDI delegates who were absent, the anger was concentrated in Macaya, which accused their peers – he accused – of lack of responsibility.
For syndicalism the question of the accusation against the three was paramount, especially for the old guard of the UDI, because it concerned the interests of the uniformed prisoners in the Punta Peuco prison, a sensitive issue for the bases of the party, but in which the president of the community, Jaqueline van Rysselberghe, did not hesitate to defend himself sharply.
Not only that they were certain in the union policy last night that if deputy Macaya had stayed in Chile and exercised his position as head of the caucus, the scenario with the previous question would have been different and the accusation would have stopped prematurely. "When the heads of the caucus are coordinated, it does not remain drifting," said a UDI deputy.
The disorder was bigger, because anyone who had to replace Macaya was the deputy Víctor Barahona, who was not present at the congress, so in the end María José Hoffman, of whom not a few in the community and the caucus doubted his leadership capacity and political weight needed to cope with this type of situation.
One of the arguments that was heard last night was that Macaya had to stay, delayed 24 hours to go to Spain to meet his family later, and that's why not much was remembered last year when the abortion project was voted, Three reasons, Senator RN, Manuel José Ossandón, came back from the United States to join the rejection of the initiative.
In the crossfire of the trade union gremialistas also appeared the name of the Minister of Justice, Hernán Larraín, to whom some hid because of the fact that it left "a void" in the political boards to order the parliamentary hosts and to secure the necessary votes. so it was rejected the reproach, even more so given that it was a subject that brought its "field" of action with it.
The steppe wolf
If things were tense in the UDI, they were worse in the PS. The accusation required a simple majority, 50% plus 1 of those present in the room, so the absence of the socialist deputy, Marcelo Diaz, and the defeat of the defamation was the focus of internal criticism.
If it were not because the deputy RN, René García, withdrew from Congress, the accusation in the previous question and with one voice would have failed. Then it was difficult to question internally in the bank that Díaz chose to go on holiday to New York and did not delay his trip one day to stay in the mood.
"I have been present in these hours, I have had my mother in a serious state of health, but my dedication to human rights goes beyond the pain of being away today and not being with her, not everyone in this party has the same dedication to human rights, that will be a problem that Marcelo Díaz will have to deal with Chilean socialism in the future, "said PS deputy Fidel Espinoza last night.
Last night in PS circles they have assured that this "bill" will be passed on to Diaz, not only for the final failure of the accusation, but also because she has put the party at risk, because if the accusation had failed in the previous question the responsibility for the bitter defeat would have ended up directly with the Socialist Party.
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