Argentine Vice President Cristina Fernández reappeared in public for the first time on Tuesday after being sentenced to six years in prison for corruption and redoubled criticism of the judiciary by pointing out that the rule of law had disappeared in the country.
She also confirmed that she will not be a candidate in 2023.
Fernández, the most influential Argentine politician of the last two decades, was sentenced on December 6 to six years in prison and disqualified for life from holding public office for acts of corruption during his presidency from 2007 to 2015.
As she had announced the same day of the sentence, the vice president reiterated that she will not be a candidate for the ruling party next year, when the general elections will take place, Congress will be renewed and governors will be elected in various provinces.
He clarified that this decision is due to the fact that it is “outlawed.”
“Neither resignation nor self-exclusion, proscription,” Fernández insisted at a political act in Avellaneda, a suburb south of the capital. “I am not going to subject our political force to taking someone as a candidate to be told ‘she is doomed’ and in this way be absolutely functional to them. This is not against me, but against Peronism.”
Fernández, 69, alleges that she is innocent and the victim of judicial persecution that seeks to intimidate political leaders who, like her, carried out income distribution and debt reduction policies.
“Naturally, it generates resistance, annoyance and retaliation as well. Fear is a great disciplinarian of political leadership. Fear pulverizes popular power and tends to distort politics, ”she said. “This judicial party is influencing the quality of life of all citizens, you have to wake up, Argentines and Argentines.”
Fernández will remain free until the sentence is final, a process that could take years between the different appeal instances until the Supreme Court issues a final ruling.
On the other hand, as vice president – a position for which she was elected until December 2023 – Fernández has privileges that grant her immunity from arrest.
The Peronist leader reproached that it is “as if the rule of law had disappeared, as if the Law had disappeared.”
In his opinion, there is a need “for there to be a serious arbitrator of the Judiciary again, who applies the Law and guarantees that all citizens are equal before the law. This does not exist today and it is serious”.
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