A president can be impeached only on two occasions: in case of severe violations to the Constitution, or if a serious crime has been committed.
The procedure for the impeachment entails several steps, from the Assembly to the Constitutional Court, in order for the process to be fair and legitimate.
At present, 49 Socialist lawmakers have submitted a request to impeach President Meta for allegedly infringing the Constitution.
How does the Assembly impeach the President?
The process kicks off at the Parliament.
At least 35 lawmakers need to present their arguments in a request for the impeachment of the president.
The request is then sent to the Speaker of the Assembly, who notifies the Assembly and the President.
The first to review this request is the Parliament’s Committee on Legal Affairs.
Within 15 days, the committee must assess the request and compile a report.
The President has the right to attend the committee and make a statement.
A simple majority is needed in the committee if it decides to propose to the Assembly the establishment of an inquiry commission for the impeachment of the president.
No later than 7 days, the Assembly must discuss and settle on whether it will approve or reject the proposal of the committee to establish an inquiry commission through a simple majority.
If the report is approved, an inquiry commission is set up in two days, which must be composed of 9-15 members, and within the deadline prescribed by the Assembly, it needs to investigate the alleged violations.
The inquiry commission then sets forth the argument to impeach the president or not to the Assembly.
Within 20 days, the Assembly convenes in a special session to review the report compiled by the inquiry commission.
The President has the right to a hearing at the plenary session and the Assembly is obliged to listen to it.
In the end, the Assembly votes whether to impeach the president. The impeachment request must be approved by at least 94 lawmakers.
If the Assembly votes in favor, the decision must go to the Constitutional Court within 5 days.
How does the Constitutional Court impeach the President?
Initially, the Constitutional Court requires a majority of votes.
At the plenary session, at least 6 members must be present, and it needs to be open to the public.
A majority, so at least 5 members, must vote in favor to impeach the president.
It must be noted that the reasons for the impeachment of the president, so the serious constitutional violation and the grave crime, are not stipulated by the law nor interpreted previously by the Constitutional Court.
Hence, the Constitutional Court will assess not only the constitutionality of the process followed to impeach the president, but also interpret whether there were indeed grave violations.
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