Capitalising on the success of last week’s anti-government protest, demonstrators have announced they will breach coronavirus restrictions again with a new march against the government’s judicial reform bill next week.
The rallying call, delivered via social networks using the banner hashtag ‘#26ATodosAlCongreso’, is lead by hardline sectors of the opposition. The protest has been timed to coincide with the Senate debate of the bill. The ruling Frente de Todos coalition says it will attempt to put the legislation to a vote next Wednesday in the Senate.
Earlier this week, the opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition said in an open letter that President Alberto Fernández’s government should focus more on resolving the coronavirus pandemic and deep economic crisis, rather than rush through a reform of the justice system that lacks political consensus.
Many opposition lawmakers have described the judicial reform bill as a thinly veiled attempt to ensure Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's legal woes are swept away. The former president faces a string of corruption cases against her in the courts.
According to the opposition, the bill “doesn’t accurately contribute to the climate of unity between Argentines.”
The government’s bill would nearly double the number of federal judges in Argentina’s provinces, where many Peronist political leaders govern. The reform would also water down the power of one of the Comodoro Py federal courthouse, while some have theorised it will also lead to an expansion of the Supreme Court.
The Frente de Todos leader says the reform bill will "guarantee due process, expedite trials, and make justice independent from political power."
The protest, scheduled for Wednesday, August 26, is not formally backed by Juntos por el Cambio, though some lawmakers and party stalwarts are expected to attend.