Breaking Boundaries: Milei’s Mega-Decree and the Battle for Executive Power in Argentina

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To what extent may economist Javier Milei use the prospect of a vote to approve his controversial mega-decree? The Argentine president’s recent actions have sparked a heated debate among constitutionalists, who argue that limits should be placed on executive authority and that Congress must have the final say.

The megadecree in question has generated significant controversy in Argentina, as it aims to pave the way for the privatization of public firms, major economic deregulation, and the repeal of legislation passed by the legislature. In a recent interview with TV station “LN+,” Milei hinted at the possibility of calling for a public consultation if his decree was rejected by Congress, stating, “obviously.”

However, constitutionalists have been quick to caution that things are not that simple. Even if Milei were to call for a plebiscite, he does not possess the authority to make the results legally binding. The power to summon a legally enforceable public consultation lies solely with Congress.

Furthermore, critics argue that the megadecree itself may be unlawful, as it seeks to abolish over 300 existing laws that were previously passed by Congress. This has led to legal proceedings being initiated by the União Popular party and the Civil Association Observatory of the Right to the City, who claim that Milei’s actions breach the principle of separation of powers.

Constitutional lawyer Andrés Gil Domínguez, who holds a doctorate of law from the University of Buenos Aires, has taken preemptive action by petitioning the court to annul the megadecree on the grounds that it violates the principle of separation of powers. Domínguez emphasizes that the Constitution and human rights treaties should serve as the guiding principles in all matters of governance.

Despite the criticism and legal challenges he faces, Milei remains steadfast in his determination to push through his plans. He dismisses his detractors with indifference, stating unequivocally that he will not back down, even if Congress or the judiciary attempt to obstruct his path. Milei draws attention to the fact that his mega-decree enjoys a significant level of public support, boasting a 75% approval rating, and questions why Congress is seemingly against measures that he believes would benefit the people.

However, the controversy surrounding Milei’s megadecree has not gone unnoticed by the public. On Wednesday (27), the General Confederation of Labor called for more demonstrations against the government. This comes in the wake of Minister of Security Patricia Bullrich’s recent repressive protocol, which stated that protesters should confine themselves to the sidewalks and warned that those who block streets would be ineligible for social subsidies.

In conclusion, the question of how far Milei can go in utilizing the prospect of a vote to approve his mega-decree remains a subject of heated debate. While he may have the authority to call for a public consultation, the final say ultimately rests with Congress. Constitutionalists argue that the megadecree and the potential bypassing of Congress raises significant concerns about the separation of powers. It remains to be seen how this battle between executive authority and congressional oversight will unfold in Argentina.