Constitutional Tribunal rules on dissolution issue, to rule on Keiko

02 November 2019

On 29 October, just on a month since the dissolution of Congress, the Constitutional Tribunal (TC) resolved unanimously to admit the case to consider whether this was conducted constitutionally. The case had been submitted by the former president of Congress, Pedro Olaechea. However, Olaechea’s attempts to reverse the decision outright and reinstate Congress was voted down by the TC by five votes to two.

It is unclear how long the TC will take to consider the case and issue a judgement on it. It could take several months. As a first step, the TC has requested a submission by the executive within 30 days.

Meanwhile, preparations for legislative elections on 26 January continue. The nearer that date comes, the harder it will be, for reasons of realpolitik, for the TC to decide that the dissolution was unconstitutional. Indeed, the size of the majority against Olaechea’s attempt to reverse it is indicative of the climate of opinion within the TC. The two who voted for it (Ernesto Blume, the president of the TC, and José Luis Sardón) are probably more conservative in their inclinations than the other five.

This coming week, the TC will probably consider the appeal lodged by Keiko Fujimori against her detention. She has been a prisoner at the Chorillos women’s prison for a year. Originally, she was put on remand for three years while investigations as to possible criminal activities were carried out, but this was reduced to 18 months last September. The case will be presented on 4 November by Blume

Meanwhile, on 30 October, the date passed on which members of the dissolved Congress lose their right of immunity from prosecution. Article 93 of the 1993 Constitution establishes that members of parliament cannot be prosecuted or imprisoned without congressional approval or by the Permanent Commission in the 30 days following the date on which they ceased to act as legislators.

Those 30 days have now passed. Several members of the former Congress may find now themselves the target of judicial investigation.

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