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ARGENTINA | 04-02-2022 16:02

Opposition stages counter-protest in defence of Supreme Court

Anti-government demonstrators protested in support of the Supreme Court on Thursday, responding to a government-backed rally demanding judicial reform two days earlier. 

Anti-government demonstrators protested in support of the Supreme Court on Thursday, responding to the government-backed rally demanding judicial reform two days earlier. 

More than a thousand protesters gathered before the Palacio de Justicia to back the justices on the nation’s highest tribunal, whose resignations were called for by supporters of President Alberto Fernandez on Tuesday. A number of judges, human rights organisations and civil society organisations also joined the rally.

During Thursday’s event, anti-government activists carried signs reading "The court is not to be touched", "Independent Justice for a democratic Republic" and "Enough of impunity," journalists reported.

"The only valid procedure for removing the court is impeachment, not a march, not a street demonstration," Osvaldo Pérez Sammartino, a law professor, told the AFP news agency.

Demonstrators, who were backed by a number of lawmakers from the opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition, chanted for an “Argentina without Cristina” – a reference to Cristina Fernandez​​ de Kirchner, the powerful vice-president who leads the Kirchnerite wing of the ruling Frente de Todos coalition. 

Fernandez​​ de Kirchner, who served as head of state from 2007 to 2015 and has faced a number of corruption cases in the courts against her since leaving the presidency, has been fiercely critical of the Judiciary and alleges that it has been used as a tool to “politically persecute” her.

"I am looking after the court and my democratic country," said 69-year-old Elsa Maida, a pensioner who took part in Thursday’s demonstration at a square before the Supreme Court.

At the same location, several thousand pro-government demonstrators demanded on Tuesday that a reform of the judicial system be carried out. They also called for the resignation of the Supreme Court, which they accuse of favouring and protecting former president Mauricio Macri in legal cases against him for state fraud, state espionage and alleged persecution of opponents during his 2015-2019 government.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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