February 27, 2020

Impeachment Around the World

“U.S. President Donald Trump thinks he’s suffered more injustice than the alleged witches of Salem, but it could be worse.

Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharaff faced possible impeachment in 2008, leading to his resignation. In the end — earlier this week — Musharaff was sentenced to death for treason.

At the other end of the spectrum, Trump isn’t even the first leader to face impeachment this month. That (dis)honor belongs to Carrie Lam, the chief executive of Hong Kong.

Lam survived a Dec. 5 impeachment vote by a margin of 36 to 26, but need not have worried too much. The vote was an intermediate step and the Communist Party hierarchy in Beijing would likely have stepped in to end the process if she had lost. That’s a luxury Trump won’t have if his impending Senate trial goes unexpectedly awry.

The travails of Trump, Musharaff and Lam raise the question of how countries around the world offer lawmakers and citizens the chance to remove high-office holders from their positions.”

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