President Alberto Fernández is seeking to impeach the leader of Argentina’s Supreme Court, a manoeuvre that escalates his recent feud with the court but that’s unlikely to succeed in Congress.
Fernández wrote in a New Year’s Day letter that he has obtained support from some governors to move forward with impeachment proceedings against Supreme Court Chief Justice Horacio Rosatti, who last month ordered the federal government to repay funds owed to Buenos Aires City, controlled by the opposition.
“In recent months we’ve seen an inadmissible advance by the national judicial power over other powers in Argentina,” Fernández wrote. “It’s my responsibility to promote actions when the federal system is put into crisis.”
Rosatti is unlikely to be impeached because Argentine law requires two-thirds of the lower house Chamber of Deputies to agree to bring forward accusations against him, and the same majority in the Senate to support the case. Fernández’s coalition, already struggling to hold together before presidential elections later this year, lacks that presence in the legislature.
Fernández initially refused to obey the court order to transfer the money, then said he would pay back the city in bonds maturing in 2031, which city leaders have rejected.
The case stems from a conflict in 2020 when Fernández took federal funds away from Buenos Aires City and gave them to Buenos Aires Province, controlled by his coalition. The money was meant to pay for police salary increases. The president justified the move on the grounds that the city is far wealthier per capita than the province.