To what extent may Milei use the prospect of a vote to approve his mega-decree? Limits on Executive authority are being warned by constitutionalists as the Argentine president tests the opposition of Congress.
In recent news, the Argentine president has been testing the opposition of Congress with a megadecree that proposes the privatization of public firms, major economic deregulation, and the repeal of legislation passed by the legislature. The president has even hinted at the possibility of summoning a public consultation if the decree is rejected.
However, constitutionalists have raised concerns about the limits of Executive authority in this situation. They argue that even if Milei calls for a plebiscite, he does not have the power to make the results legally binding. The authority to hold a legally enforceable public consultation lies solely with Congress.
Furthermore, there is a belief among some individuals that this megadecree itself is unlawful, as it seeks to abolish over 300 legislations that Congress has already passed. Legal proceedings have been initiated by the União Popular party and the Civil Association Observatory of the Right to the City against the president.
One constitutional lawyer, Andrés Gil Domínguez, has taken matters into his own hands by petitioning the court to annul the decree on the grounds that it violates the separation of powers. According to Domínguez, the basic principle of the separation of powers is that laws are approved by the Legislative Branch, administered by the Executive Branch, and finally resolved by the Judiciary Branch. He argues that the Constitution and human rights treaties govern these processes.
Despite the criticisms and legal challenges, Milei remains steadfast in his determination to push forward with his plans. He shows no emotion in response to his detractors and categorically states that he will not give up, even if Congress or the Judiciary attempt to thwart his agenda. The president frequently highlights the 75% support rating for his mega-decree, using it as a justification for his actions.
Meanwhile, tensions continue to rise in the country as more demonstrations are planned against the new government. The General Confederation of Labor has called for protests on Wednesday, with the aim of expressing discontent with current policies. In response, Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich has reiterated last week’s repressive protocol, stating that protesters should remain on sidewalks and warning that those blocking streets will not be eligible for social subsidies.
In conclusion, the extent to which Milei can use the prospect of a vote to approve his mega-decree is subject to debate among constitutionalists. While the president may desire a public consultation, he does not possess the authority to make its results legally binding. As tensions rise and legal challenges mount, it remains to be seen how the situation will unfold and whether the separation of powers will be safeguarded.