Argentine President Javier Miley has promised to hold a referendum if parliament refuses to support his reforms. He stated this on December 26 in an interview with the LN+ television program.
“If they (members of parliament – Ed.) reject it, I will call for a plebiscite and force them to explain to me why they are against the people. <...> They cannot come to terms with the fact that they lost, that the population chose something else,” said Miley, as reported by La Nacion.
Thus, the Argentine leader wants to pass through parliament a presidential decree of necessity and urgency (el decreto de necesidad y urgencia, DNU), which includes more than 300 reforms, including rules preventing the privatization of public companies, new provisions in the regulation of real estate rental, as well as bans on export restrictions.
At the same time, deputies of both houses of parliament can reject this decree, since Miley’s party La Libertad Avanza (Freedom Comes) has only 38 seats out of 257 in the Chamber of Deputies and only seven out of 72 in the Senate.
According to the publication, the referendum, called by the executive branch, is not legally binding and represents only a “political message.”
On December 27, the Argentine government decided not to renew the contracts of civil servants who were hired in 2023. The move was part of a massive plan of cuts and devaluations announced by Miley. The contracts of other government employees hired before 2023 will be renegotiated, officials said.
Earlier, on December 20, thousands of people protested in Buenos Aires against the economic policies of the new Argentine government. The march participants blocked the main street of the city. The protesters were heading towards the government house, but the police blocked their path.
On that day, Miley signed a decree on more than 300 reforms to liberalize the economy. They will have to be discussed in the state parliament. The President emphasized that the purpose of this is “the beginning of the path to restructuring”
Miley officially took office following the inauguration ceremony on December 10. He took the oath of office in the congressional building in Buenos Aires, after which outgoing President Alberto Fernandez handed over the presidential ribbon and baton to Miley.