Chilean president Piñera impeached over Pandora papers revelations

  • Lower house approval vote sets up trial in Chile’s senate
  • Papers revealed offshore dealings of conservative president
Sebastián Piñera in October. The leaked documents revealed new details of a controversial deal to sell the family’s stake in the Dominga mining project.
Sebastián Piñera in October. The leaked documents revealed new details of a controversial deal to sell the family’s stake in the Dominga mining project. Photograph: Javier Salvo/AFP/Getty

Associated Press in Santiago Tue 9 Nov 2021 17.46 GMT

Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera has been impeached by the lower house of congress, setting up a trial in the nation’s senate over allegations he favored the sale of a family property while in office.

The vote to impeach passed with the bare minimum of 78 votes needed in the 155-member chamber of deputies, and followed a marathon 20-hour session. Sixty-seven legislators voted against impeachment, including several members of the opposition. Others abstained or were absent.

Piñera is unlikely to be removed by the 43-member upper house, where the opposition has only 24 of the 29 votes needed to oust a president.

But the trial will come in the heat of a general election campaign. The first round of general elections is set for 21 November and Piñera’s term ends on 11 March. Chile does not permit presidential re-election to consecutive terms.

The accusation stems from publication of the Pandora papers, which revealed offshore financial dealings of prominent figures around the world – including Piñera, one of Chile’s wealthiest people.

The leaked documents revealed new details of a controversial deal to sell the Piñera family’s stake in the Dominga mining project.

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