- Lower house approval vote sets up trial in Chile’s senate
- Papers revealed offshore dealings of conservative president
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.