Democracy, constitutionalism in times of crisis: the impeachment as a trap to turn a parliamentary coup into a regular constitutional procedure

Democracy is a fugitive condition or opened process and thus amenable to disruption and renewal. Democracy is not just a form of government or set of institutions but rather a moment marking the practice of politics itself. Radical democratic politics is oriented towards the contestation of prevailing regimes. On the other hand, Constitutionalism is understood to avoid arbitrariness by designing mechanisms that determine who can rule, how, and for what purposes. It puts limits on democracy by means of separation of power, protection and enforcement of fundamental rights etc. This relation between democracy and constitutionalism operates in different ways in times of crisis to defend the ongoing structure of democratic constitutionalism. The use of impeachment as a coup – as recently happened in Brazil- undermines democracy and constitutionalism. This paper aims at discussing the impeachment as a trap to turn a completely unconstitutional procedure into a regular constitutional one.