The lower house of the House of Representatives in Chile today (Tuesday) voted by a majority of 78 deputies against 67 in favor of ousting President Sebastian Pineira due to suspicions of irregularities in the sale of the mining company he owned. A Senate trial on the impeachment is expected to take place just days before the Nov. 21 election, which will determine the identity of Pineira’s heir who cannot run.
Pandora’s documents have revealed suspicions of irregularities in the sale of the Minera Dominga company through a company owned by Pineira’s family that was registered in the British Virgin Islands. The company was sold to one of the childhood friends of the conservative president, one of the wealthiest people in Chile, a few months before Pineira began his first term as president in 2010.
“With what we experienced today and how they prepared the accusations, which were improvised for the hearing a few days before the election, how can one not understand why politics became an activity with a bad reputation,” the president’s attorney, Jorge Gelbz, said during the day-long hearing.
A Senate trial would require 75 percent of the 43 members of the upper house to convict Pineira, with the opposition holding 24 seats. In 2019, an attempt to oust the president in the wake of the deaths of protesters during the repression of the popular demonstrations had already failed. However, the public prosecution has already announced that it will open an investigation into bribery and tax offenses due to the sale of the mining company.