On Tuesday, vice-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accused the judiciary of timing legal action against her to nix her electoral chances. It was her first public speech since being handed a six-year prison sentence and a ban on holding public office in the Vialidad case on December 6.
CFK was addressing supporters and party activists at the inauguration of the “Diego Armando Maradona” sports compound in the Avellaneda borough of Buenos Aires. She was accompanied by governor Axel Kicillof and local mayor Jorge Ferraresi, as well as officials and legislators.
The vice president linked the date set for the reading of the grounds for her Vialidad case sentence with the banning of Peronism in 1956. In her statement the day of her conviction, the vice president said she would not run for elected office in 2023, ending her immunity privileges from December 10 onwards.
During her speech, she said that the reason she will not run is because “there is a ban.” The ban handed down by the court will not take effect until she has exhausted her appeals, which is unlikely to happen before the general election in October. “My thing was not a renunciation, nor self-exclusion; it was a ban,” she said.
In her speech, which lasted just over half an hour, the vice president stated that the “banning strategy” she attributed to the Judiciary “is not new” but rather “they began to devise it the day after December 9, when we said goodbye in the Plaza (De Mayo) and we sang “Volveremos” (‘We shall return’)”, she said in reference to the last day of her second term in 2015.
Regarding the Vialidad case, she added: “What they did was put together a trial with an almost surgical electoral chronology. After a three-year long concocted trial, they decided to have the oral trial in which they were going to put me on the defendant’s bench on May 21, 2019. Exactly fifteen days before the election deadlines to present electoral fronts to run for the presidency.
“Three days before that, I dismantled that maneuver when I announced that we were going to form a front with the current president of Argentina,” she said, referring to president Alberto Fernández.
In this sense, the vice president connected the date the judges have set for announcing the reasoning behind her Vialidad case sentence with the banning of Peronism in 1956. “They will read them out on March 9, and it was on March 9, 1956 that the Decree 41/61 was issued in the Official Gazette, banning the words ‘Perón’ and ‘Evita’, as well as the Peronist March,” she recalled.
She also said that “we are faced with a lawless action, as if the rule of law had disappeared,” a problem which “affects the citizens’ quality of life” and highlights the need for “a serious arbitrator so that we are all equal before the law.”
“The fact that 40 years after recovering democracy we are seeing that democracy has a parallel State captured by the mafias, [it] is not fair for those who have suffered the consequences of the dictatorship, or for the millions of Argentines who continue to believe that democracy is the best way to live together,” she said.