Chile’s Senate fails to impeach President Sebastian Pinera

November 18, 2021

Chilean Senate fails to impeach President Sebastian Pinera

Chilean President Sebastian Pinera has been able to survive an impeachment procedure in the Senate this week. The Chamber of Deputies had previously voted to remove the billionaire from office.

However, critics were not able to get the support of the 29 Senators needed to succeed in that process. 24 Senators voted to impeach the center-right politician, while 18 opposed. There was one abstention.

Sebastian Pinera resists impeachment brought by Pandora Papers leak

Impeachment would have made it impossible for Pinera to hold public office for five years in addition to the dismissal from his current post.

Pinera’s political misfortune is linked to the Pandora Papers leak. The president is accused of taking money from a mining executive in exchange for government backing.

The politician sold investment project Minera Dominga to his childhood friend, Carlos Alberto Délano after he began his first term in office in 2010.

The Pandora Papers reportedly revealed that Pinera received a small amount of money in Chile for the transaction.

However, two other more significant payments were made in the British Virgin Islands.

The 71-year-old Christian Democratic political figure insists that he did nothing wrong and was unaware of the different transactions.

His aides claim that he had not been handling his companies for 12 years and had no connection to the deal with Délano.

Moreover, the president argues that the courts looked at the matter in 2017 and found no wrongdoing on his part.

Sebastian Pinera, who has a net worth estimated at close to $3 billion, is leaving office in March.

Chileans go to the polls on Sunday to elect their next president.

President Pinera has an image deficit

The current leader is exiting the stage with a vast image deficit. According to recent polling, close to 80 percent of the country does not approve of the job that Pinera is doing.

While he is credited for bringing a different touch to the Chilean right, Pinera has failed to respond to the 2019 unrest in the proper fashion. He has never been able to recover politically.

In the face of poor economic prospects, many Chileans took to the streets. The president chose to deploy the military to protect property. Two years later, his leadership is still being questioned.

The unrest opened the door for the adoption of a new constitution. Pineda was a bystander in the momentous shift in his country.

Pinera is the least popular president since Augusto Pinochet

However, some have praised his administration for the handling of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

This will probably not be enough to save a legacy that has also been tainted by the militarization of some areas in Southern Chile that were previously claimed by indigenous communities.

Since the end of the dictatorship led by Augusto Pinochet, Pinera has been the president with the lowest approval rating.

While he is often well prepared for his public appearances, a so-called lack of empathy has plagued his terms in office.

Some in the media have even concluded that he is not very good at politics. Yet, he was able to get elected twice by the Chilean people.

Pinera’s first term from 2010 to 2014 was marked by a series of natural disasters, enough for him to be associated with “bad luck.”

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