Controversy and reactions of all kinds generated the editorial of El Mostrador on Wednesday, entitled “The Health of the President and Democracy”. The text believes that it is necessary for citizens to know whether or not the erratic behaviors of President Sebastián Piñera, coupled with their uncontrollable tics and spasms.
“The continuity and normal functioning of the political regime, especially in a system of presidential verticalism such as chile’s, indicates that the welfare of the nation depends to a large extent on the physical and mental health of the First Representative,” the editorial says.
While Senator Juan Ignacio Latorre (RD) recommends a “serious and in-depth clinical evaluation”, Deputy Jaime Naranjo (PS) argued that “in the wake of the erratic behaviors that the President of the Republic has had, it seems entirely prudent and advisable to make a constitutional reform, so that the senior authorities of the country, an external body does physical and mental health examinations”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Gabriel Ascencio (DC) considered that it is necessary for the Senate Constitution Committee to issue “a report that was requested for quite a few months ago (…) that had a connection to the procedure to be followed when someone requested inability for the President’s health reasons. That’s requested, it’s pending in the Senate Constitution Committee.”
Ascencio refers to the express request of the deputies of the Regionalist Green Social Federation (FREVS), Alejandra Sepúlveda, Jaime Mulet and Esteban Velasquez, who in a document addressed to the upper house stated that, given Piñera’s “erratic behavior” during the social crisis, it is necessary to clear the mechanism established by article 53, No. 7, of the Constitution on the exclusive attribution of the Senate to “declare the inability of the President of the Republic or the President-elect , when a physical or mental impairment disables it for the exercise of its functions.”
In that regard, the DC mp told El Mostrador that “although the Constitution is clearly established that there is a possibility of declaring the President incompatible for health reasons and should leave office, there is no procedure, and that is why a few months ago the Constitution Commission was asked what the procedure was like , because the procedure involves the Senate with the Constitutional Court, but the procedure to be followed to ask for inability for mental health reasons is not so clear, it is not known how it works because there are no examples of that.”
In addition, he considered that “the issue of the President’s mental health is absolutely important to hold the position that is held”.
For his part, four months after first consulting the Constitution Commission without receiving answers, Deputy Esteban Velasquez (FREVS) sent letters again to the highest authority of the Senate and to the president of the specialized body, Adriana Muñoz and Pedro Araya, respectively.
In this regard, the parliamentarian for the Antofagasta Region noted that “on 5 March we officiated Senator Jaime Quintana, at that time president of the upper house, and the chairman of the Constitution Commission, Felipe Harboe, to define the specific procedure that gives rise to the declaration of inability of the President of the Republic, by physical or mental impediment , and in the absence of answers – although at that time Senator Quintana himself gave 30 days to resolve – today we again see various attitudes at least complex or erratic of President Piñera, we have decided to forward these letters now to the current President of the Senate, Senator Adriana Muñoz, and to the chairman of the Constitution Commission, Pedro Araya.”
“In these documents we argue all the erratic facts, the conduct not only physical but mental, because of October to the date, because from our point of view President Piñera is not in his right to lead the nation. However, as this power is deposited in the Senate, which is why we already asked them in March and we are still waiting for an answer, we have reiterated this consultation,” he said.