Third Supreme Court challenge presented against Insfrán 

Political outsider Francisco Paoltroni objected to the candidacies of the incumbent governor and an opposition politician

Independent Formosan politician Francisco Paoltroni has requested that the Supreme Court ban incumbent Governor Gildo Insfrán from running for reelection — the third legal challenge of this type against his gubernatorial candidacy in this year’s elections.

Paoltroni, who is running for governor, also presented a legal challenge against another plaintiff against Insfrán, opposition National Deputy Fernando Carbajal.

Insfrán is currently the longest-serving governor in the country, having served in the role since 1995, and the Partido Justicialista (PJ) Formosa named him as their gubernatorial candidate on Saturday.

Carbajal and the Frente Amplio Formoseño Confederation filed separate petitions to the Supreme Court last week hoping to ban Insfrán’s reelection, questioning the “legal vacuum” of Formosa’s provincial constitution because it does not explicitly limit the number of times a governor can run for reelection. 

Article 132 — modified in 2003 under Insfrán’s government— stipulates that governors hold office for four years and “can be reelected” with no further specifications. Paoltroni’s request to ban Insfrán’s candidacy, sponsored by constitutional lawyer Daniel Sabsay, runs along the same lines.

“It’s a similar situation to San Juan and Tucumán where local courts rule in favor like lapdogs for the only power, which is the Executive, so everything it wants is endorsed,” Sabsay told the Herald. “The Court must do the same as in the other cases because otherwise, it would be going against judicial security.”

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The Supreme Court suspended elections in San Juan and Tucumán provinces earlier this month, where opposition politicians also claimed that the candidacies of their incumbent governors were unconstitutional. The Court has since lifted Tucumán’s suspension while San Juan canceled the gubernatorial race, holding partial elections on May 14.

“They must rule in the same way because otherwise, it creates unpredictability,” Sabsay said. “The case of Insfrán is clear — with 28 years as governor he’s a true dictator who has practically made himself the owner of the province.”

This is in line with political discourse from the national opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) which contends that certain provincial governments with a longstanding Peronist presence are “authoritarian,” with former President Mauricio Macri characterizing them as “feudal.”

“What indefinite reelections produce is an uneven playing field from an electoral standpoint as well as an authoritarianism that’s used as a repressive mechanism against voters,” Carbajal told the Herald

The Supreme Court has not responded to Carbajal’s request to ban Insfrán’s election. Carbajal contended that the new legal request from Paoltroni was “pure show” because “there are already two such requests in the Court.”

When asked about Paoltroni’s second legal challenge, this one presented in the Formosan Electoral Tribunal contending that Carbajal is ineligible to run for governor because he has not lived in Formosa long enough, he told the Herald that he has lived in Formosa since 1988.

“I always said that whoever chose to play outside of the opposition coalition would be functional to Insfrán,” said Carbajal. “We made an opposition coalition of seven parties and the only one who was left out was [Paoltroni] and instead of campaigning, he comes along with false accusations.”

PJ Formosa was unavailable for comment. The provincial elections are set to take place on June 25.


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