Argentine leader slams media ruling

2013-04-19 11:44
Aerial view of a protest against Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government policies at Mayo square in Buenos Aires. (Jose Brusco, AFP)

Aerial view of a protest against Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government policies at Mayo square in Buenos Aires. (Jose Brusco, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • Argentina
    The book's handy pocket size makes it an ideal companion for visitors to Argentina. Now R209.00
    buy now

Buenos Aires - Thousands marched in cities across Argentina on Thursday to protest the government of President Cristina Kirchner, carrying signs saying "enough impunity" and demanding "independent justice."

As with previous protests in September and November, many learned of the demonstrations on social networks, and banged pots and pans as they converged on city enters.

 In Argentina's capital, the iconic obelisk and the Plaza de Mayo were crowded with people chanting "enough" after 10 years of rule by Kirchner and her late husband, President Nestor Kirchner.

But this time, opposition party leaders also joined in, turning what had been a non-partisan movement into something organised with an eye toward October's congressional elections, which could determine whether she has the votes to change the constitution and do away with term limits, extending her power indefinitely.

"I came to see if the Kirchners will leave and we can make a serious country. That they leave and that peace returns so that we can be a united country once again," said Lorenzo Velazquez, a 51-year-old food worker.

He carried a sign saying "2015 Sin Cristina", referring to the year when her current term will end.

Reducing media influence

Some of Argentina's television channels showed the march on a split screen, while also tracking a senate vote to approve new limits on court injunctions, a key part of a judiciary reform package the president's allies are rushing through Congress.

Opponents say the legislation is a power grab designed to neutralise any challengers, pack the courts with her supporters and control all three branches of government, thus derailing any corruption investigations.

"Without equal justice for all, there's no Republic nor democracy. Only an active citizenry can defend them," said congressman Ricardo Alfonsin of the Radical Civic Union, who trailed Kirchner in the last presidential race.

Before she left the country to fly to Peru and then Caracas in support of Venezuela's newly elected president, Kirchner lashed out at the judges who struck down the heart of another law that she tried to use to reduce the influence of her leading media opponent, Grupo Clarin.

Now Kirchner is aiming for a Supreme Court showdown with the media conglomerate.

Kirchner, who was re-elected by a wide margin, said she's "never seen anything" like Wednesday night's federal court ruling, which she said was clear evidence that the judicial system must be brought under the control of the democratic process.

Corporate interest over collective rights

The judges upheld Argentina's 2009 media reform law, but declared unconstitutional the key provisions that apply to Grupo Clarin, one of Latin America's most powerful media conglomerates. The judges said limits on how many broadcast stations and cable networks a company can own are unconstitutional violations of private property rights.

Her point-man on enforcing the media law, Martin Sabbatella, urged the Supreme Court to settle the case quickly.

"The ruling destroys the limits, denies the virtue of the anti-monopoly spirit of the law and constructs another law that defends the corporate interests over the collective rights," he complained at a news conference.

"We ask that it be resolved quickly, with speed, because it deals with a serious institutional problem since this law was approved by Congress more than three years ago and still can't be applied in full."

Clarin cheered the ruling, saying on its website that a ruling upholding the law in its entirety would have forced the company to choose between its popular Channel 13 or its Cablevision network in Buenos Aires as well as sell off its cable systems in many other cities and abandon its internet services.

Kirchner's allies, who control Congress, meanwhile rushed to approve the judicial changes by next week.

‘Don’t kill the republic’

The proposed changes would make judges with lifetime appointments more vulnerable to removal by expanding and directly electing the board of officials that appoints and disciplines judges.

They aim to reduce nepotism by filling judicial posts through open competitions. After hours of debate Thursday night, the Senate also approved a six-month limit on court injunctions, and decided that a government appeal would suspend injunctions immediately.

This last point raised objections even among some of Kirchner's closest supporters, who argued for exceptions for when poor and defenceless people challenge the government in court.

But the president complained that injunctions have become a tool of Argentina's powerful to prevent democratically approved measures from taking effect - just as Clarin has done with the media law.

"I have to say it: Here in the judiciary there's a kind of ghetto that remains stuck in time," Fernandez said. "There are judges who were never removed and go on showing their aristocratic past."

But thousands of people marching Thursday night seemed far more concerned about how she wields her presidential power.

"I'm against this judicial reform. The executive branch is inserting itself into the legislative and judicial. There aren't any real debates that permit laws to be modified, and everything is resolved with a yes or no," complained Hernan Fernandez, aged 38.

He carried a sign saying "Mrs President, in the name of democracy, don't kill the republic."

- AP

Read more on:    cristina kirchner  |  argentina  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

ANCYL: Not voting would be blasphemy

Not voting in the forthcoming elections would be blasphemy, the ANCYL says in a statement commemorating the 50th anniversary of struggle icon Nelson Mandela's Rivonia trial speech.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

DSTV Mobile iDrifta

The iDrifta is a plug and play mobile DVB-H receiver...

From R445.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.