Argentina’s President snubs Supreme Court ruling, sparking crisis

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Argentina’s President Alberto Fernandez pledged to disobey a Supreme Court order to return funding to the government of the opposition-controlled city of Buenos Aires, sparking an institutional crisis and capping off a week of political setbacks.

Fernandez on Thursday night called the ruling “unprecedented, incongruent and impossible to comply with,” and said he would seek to recuse all four judges of the Supreme Court from the case, according to a government statement.

“We’re before a Supreme Court that’s lost the criteria of justice,” Fernandez, who is a professor of penal law at the University of Buenos Aires, said at a separate interview with a local TV channel. “It’s definitively acting on political criteria.”

The case stems from a lawsuit Buenos Aires Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta filed against the national government in 2020 after Fernandez took federal funds intended to the city and gave them to the province of Buenos Aires, which is governed by the president’s coalition. At the time, Fernandez took the decision on the grounds that the city is much wealthier than the province.

The court ruled Wednesday that some of the money must be returned to the city, although not as much as Larreta was seeking. Still, it marked a po-litical victory for Larreta, who is seen as a top con-tender for next year’s presidential election, and an-other setback for Fernandez as his coalition faces growing infighting.—Agencies