Although he says that he assumed the presidency of the Chamber with a spirit of dialogue, the deputy Mirosevic admits that it has been a complex task. “We cannot be treating each other the worst because that does not serve Chilean democracy at all,” he says in conversation with BioBioChile.
In turn, the congressman calls on his colleagues to avoid all kinds of acts that lead to “chacota”, stressing that they are paid to improve the lives of Chileans.
Along with criticizing opposition parliamentarians for rejecting funds for the INDH in the 2023 Budget, he was confident that after his replacement in the Senate, this item would be definitively approved.
Meanwhile, Mirosevic assures that the demand for a new Constitution is still in force, although he acknowledges that there has been a natural wear and tear due to excessive constitutional debate.
Complex first days as Speaker in the Chamber
-Could the opposition motions of no confidence be an oversight due to what happened with the constituent convention?
No, I don’t think they are two related things. Rather, I would say that it is not a very constructive attitude of the opposition, but I don’t think it has anything to do with that.
-You called on the opposition to have a constructive attitude. Do you feel that your sector has had a constructive attitude in bodies such as the convention or the Chamber itself?
I believe that we in the Chamber have sought to have a dialogue with the opposition. That has also been the tone of my presidency. We want to bring positions closer together and, above all, bring order to the Chamber, and that also requires a more fraternal dialogue. We can’t be treating each other the worst because that doesn’t help Chilean democracy at all. I am in that attitude permanently.
-Last Monday you met with President Gabriel Boric. Did he make you see his opinion about the situation in the Chamber?
What we have discussed with the President, and what we share, is that you have to listen to those who think differently and therefore no one can feel so master of the truth as to insult or attack another. That is part of what we have to change in the Chamber, so I am on that mission, not an easy one, by the way, but I have set myself the mission of producing the greatest possible fraternal dialogue.
“We get paid to do a job”
– Do you think that gestures like the guitar of Senator Francisco Chahuán or the ball of Deputy Tomás Lagomarsino affect the institutional framework?
I don’t want to judge anyone in particular, but I do believe that we have to be very careful in Congress in our way. I believe that we have to close any space to jokes or to a style that is outside of our work.
We are paid to do a job and that job has to do with improving the lives of Chilean men and women. Anything distracting doesn’t help that purpose much. I would call for sobriety and dedication to doing our job.
Funds for the NHRI
-About the debate on the Budget, the Senate restored the funds for the INDH although in the first instance they had been left out in the Chamber.
I regret this issue that is supposed to be of consensus, and that we took for granted, as is the issue of human rights. I mean that it was not only characteristic of a political sector but that the defense of human rights and the “never again” in Chile were supposed to be more transversal. It seems very strange to me the setback that the right has had regarding this issue.
The Human Rights Institute is an autonomous body precisely because it cannot depend on a government in power, so it is very striking to me that its autonomy is questioned, as if it were something negative. On the contrary: it is a permanent body of the State that has to look with State stature at a matter where it has to supervise the government of the day.
It strikes me that the right falls into this significant setback. They went back several decades, but I’m glad they’ve recovered in the Senate. Nobody would understand that something like this is rejected, Chile is a country that has, supposedly, human rights standards and it would seem very strange to me if it were rejected. It would be very embarrassing.
– But what do you think will happen with these funds, considering that the vote in the House is still pending?
I believe that this procedure in the Chamber will be approved, as it happened in the Senate.
Controversial use of cards for gasoline
– Regarding Ciper’s investigation regarding relatives of deputies who use cards paid with public funds to load gasoline, do you plan to strengthen the tools to control the proper use of this item?
Yes. The first thing to say is that the person who regulates the funds of parliamentarians is an external body that is autonomous, which is the Parliamentary Appropriations Council, basically because the idea that existed at a time that parliamentarians self-regulate in the use of their funds. In this case it is an external body that takes charge of this.
As a table of the Chamber, we have asked this external body, through a letter, to clarify this gap that currently exists regarding who can load gasoline, because that was not regulated, so we believe that it must be regulated. It is necessary that it be regulated and it is necessary that this gap be clarified.
-Is there a consensual spirit to strengthen this inspection tool?
Yes absolutely. Since this Parliamentary Assignments Council was created and since parliamentarians are not the ones who self-regulate on this type of issue, the truth is that much more order has been established and scandals have greatly decreased, because it is no longer the parliamentarians themselves. those who do according to their criteria but rather there are very precise rules for everyone and of course, in this case there is a gap that must be resolved.
Controversial celebration of Ana Lya Uriarte
– Minister Ana Lya Uriarte celebrated energetically in the chamber when you were elected president of the Chamber. Do you feel that this gesture may have unnecessarily stirred the waters in the opposition?
I have heard that the opposition interpreted that gesture not in the best way.
-They have hit him hard with that topic.
Yes. Indeed I think it was a gesture that the opposition did not like and well, I think that the election has already happened anyway and I ask the opposition, in the best constructive spirit, to let us work. We come in the most equanimous way possible to try to raise this institution that requires prestige, because when parliaments are not prestigious in countries, it becomes a problem for democracy.
And the countries that do well are those that have strong democracies. I come with a mission: try to bring order to the Chamber, try to generate a dialogue and try to claim civic coexistence within Congress.
-There are voices, such as Cristian Warnken from Amarillos por Chile, who say that people’s interest in a new Constitution has faded. Match?
I believe that the polls invariably show that for a long time there has been a majority in Chile that wants a new Constitution. That lawsuit has not ended. What happens is that of course there is a saturation and wear product of so much time of constitutional debate in Chilean society. There is a natural wear and tear but that does not mean that the demand is dead.
– But don’t you think that issues that have taken the lead in recent times, such as security and crime, have diminished the desire of the population for a new magna carta?
It is that they are not contradiction. I believe that this government, and Congress as well, must have a focus on security and economic reactivation, and we are doing so.
In the Chamber I called on the opposition to revive thirty projects that were sleeping in Congress to give them an express processing. Many of them have to do with security, economic recovery, consumer rights, anti-abuse, in short. But that does not mean that it is not necessary to have a new Constitution for the 21st century.
-What do you think of the “conclave” proposed by Senator Matías Walker, in the sense of “locking in” and “not stopping the table” until a constituent agreement is reached?
I have just come from the constitutional dialogues, I have come to listen, I have been at it, learning and updating myself on the positions of all sectors. We, as sponsors and conveners of this dialogue, being at the table in the Chamber and in the Senate with Álvaro Elizalde, have to promote dialogue but we cannot impose positions on anyone, here each force and sector will have their positions and we will have to continue to talk until an agreement is reached.
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