Former Supreme Court Justice Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni has stood by controversial comments he made last month about the future of the ruling Cambiemos coalition led by President Mauricio Macri.
“If they leave [office] early, then we can resolve the problem [Argentina is facing]”, he told the C5N news channel.
Zaffaroni, who has long been criticised for his close connections with the former Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner administration, said last month: “I would hope the government left office as soon as possible”.
The government and its allies pounced on the comments, claiming the judge had all but called for a coup d’état.
However, while most observers agree that this was not the judge's intention, others have described Zaffaroni’s comments as undemocratic and inappropriate given his position as a judge on the prestigious Inter-american Court of Human Rights.
Government members have called on him to resign from that bench.
Zaffaroni “has expressed an antidemocratic vision that Argentines long left in the past”, Justice Minister Germán Garavano told Clarín. “He should not continue on the Inter-american Court [of Human Rights]”.
Doubling down on his previous statements, Zaffaroni said he saw impeachment as a possible end for the Macri government.
“Yes, let’s hope they leave in 2019, if they make it”, he told C5N's Marcelo Zlotogwiazda. “Let them leave on an impeachment, I don’t know. Otherwise, they should take their foot of the accelerator”, he added, referring to the Macri administration’s economic reforms.
“This doesn’t end well, it never ends well. It didn’t end well in 1982, it didn’t end well in 2001. Let’s avoid a catastrophe of this nature, somehow. They either take their foot off the accelerator or we’ll have a similar ending [to the political and economic crises of 1982 and 2001].”