CASE N° ARG/20 - Ramón Eduardo Saadi
CASE N° ARG/21 - Carlos Angel Pavicich
CASE N° ARG/22 - Ms. Olinda Montenegro
CASE N° ARG/23 - Carlos Lorenzo Tomasella
CASE N° ARG/24 - Nicolás Alfredo Garay

Resolution adopted without a vote by the Inter-Parliamentary Council
at its 166th session (Amman, 6 May 2000)

The Inter-Parliamentary Council,

Referring to the outline of the case of Mr. Ramón Eduardo Saadi, Mr. Carlos Angel Pavicich, Ms. Olinda Montenegro, Mr. Carlos Lorenzo Tomasella and Mr. Nicolás Alfredo Garay of Argentina, as contained in the report of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians (CL/166/16(c)­R.1), and to the relevant resolution adopted at its 165th session (October 1999),

Recalling that the persons concerned all claim to have been elected or designated in conformity with the relevant national legislation to fill one of the three seats in the Senate of the Nation assigned by the Constitution to each province; that, however, they have not been incorporated in the Senate and claim that this constitutes both a violation of their political rights, since it deprives them of their right to exercise the mandates entrusted to them by the electorates of their provinces, and a violation of the right of those provinces to be represented by persons of their choice,

Recalling that:

  • According to Article 54 of the Constitution of Argentina, each province is represented in the Senate of the Nation by three members of its assembly, with “two seats [being] allocated to the political party obtaining the highest number of votes and the third to the political party receiving the next highest number of votes”;
  • Article 64 of the Constitution stipulates that “each Chamber is the judge of the validity of the election and of the rights and qualifications of its members”, a provision which the sources interpret as authorising the Senate only to verify whether the election and accreditation of a provincial Senator-elect comply with the terms of the Federal Constitution and not to act as an electoral body; the Senate majority affirms, on the other hand, that it confers on the Senate “responsibility for the safeguarding of its proper and full composition in terms of quantity - ensuring that all seats are filled - and quality - ensuring that the majorities and minorities of each province are represented”,

Recalling that, in the resolution it adopted at its 165th session (October 1999) noting that conflicting interpretations had been advanced regarding the powers and procedures of the Senate and the provincial assemblies with respect to the implementation of the relevant constitutional provisions, it expressed concern that, on the question of the incorporation in the Senate of the Nation of Mr. Ramón Eduardo Saadi (Catamarca Province), Mr. Carlos Angel Pavicich and Ms. Olinda Montenegro (Chaco Province) and of Mr. Carlos Lorenzo Tomasella and Mr. Nicolás Alfredo Garay (Corrientes Province), the Senate had not applied “consistent criteria when exercising its powers under Article 64 of the Constitution”; and also noted with concern that, “regarding Chaco Province, the Senate [did] not seem to have applied the same criteria when counting the seats belonging to the Justicialist Party and those belonging to the Alliance since it [had taken] the 1995 elections into account in one case and not in the other” in determining who should occupy the majority and minority seats,

Recalling that Mr. Pavicich and Ms. Montenegro referred their case to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and noting that, in its decision N° 132/99 of 19 November 1999, the Commission declared the case admissible insofar as it referred to “possible violations of Articles 1, 8, 23, 24 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights”, placed “itself at the disposal of the parties for the purpose of reaching an amicable settlement based on respect for the rights set out in the Constitution” and invited “the parties to express their views on such a possibility”,

Considering hat in 1997 Mr. Saadi had also submitted a petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights denouncing a violation of his rights under Articles 23 and 24 of the American Convention on Human Rights (right to participate in government and right to equal protection of the law, respectively); on 7 April 1998 the Commission acknowledged receipt of his complaint, consideration of which is still pending,

Noting that in his communication of 5 January 2000 Mr. Saadi pointed out that he had been elected to the Chamber of Deputies in the 1999 legislative elections and sworn in, without any comment or challenge, on 10 December 1999; since “the National Constitution contains no provision for different treatment of the members of the two Chambers in terms of qualifications and rights, conditions of eligibility and grounds for disqualification”, the Justicialist Party in his province again requested his immediate incorporation in the Senate of the Nation; noting further that, in the light of this new development, Mr. Saadi requests the Inter-Parliamentary Union to address to the Senate of the Nation “a formal, categorical and public demand for his incorporation in the Senate as representative of the minority party in Catamarca Province”,

Considering finally that the Argentine delegation to the 103rd Conference, composed of members belonging to the political parties involved in the conflict in question, requested the Committee to postpone the hearing which had already been scheduled since “new institutional situations were expected which could improve the level of consensus” and to hold a hearing instead on the occasion of the 104th Conference,

  1. Is gratified at the prospect of positive developments as indicated by the Argentine delegation to the Conference, and hopes that such developments will make it possible, in the near future, to reach an amicable settlement of this case;
  2. Takes note of Mr. Saadi's request that it demand his incorporation in the Senate; points out, however, that the Inter-Parliamentary Union is not competent to make such a demand, since it would be tantamount to ruling on the construction to be placed on the Argentine Constitution;
  3. Requests the Secretary General to communicate this resolution to the President of the Senate, the President pro tempore of the Senate and the sources, inviting them to transmit any new information to the Committee;
  4. Requests the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to report to it at its next session (October 2000) in the light of any such developments.

Note: you can download a complete electronic version of the brochure "Results of the 103rd Conference and related meetings of the Inter-Parliamentary Union" in PDF format (file size approximately 410K). This version requires Adobe Acrobat Reader, which you can download free of charge.Get Acrobat Reader

Human rights of parliamentarians | Home page | Main areas of activity | Structure and functioning