RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The ruling party and the main force of the Argentine opposition finalize this Thursday (22) the closing of the lists of candidates to be registered by the end of the week to participate in the primary elections of September 12, which will define the candidates to be presented in the legislative elections next November 14.
For the province of Buenos Aires, the most populous district of the country, a bastion of the ruling party, and one of the jurisdictions where the election will be tightly contested, the opposition candidate coalition is still being negotiated internally.
To compete in the internal of the opposition coalition called Juntos for this election – instead of Juntos por el Cambio, with which the former president Mauricio Macri (2015-2019) competed in the general elections of 2019 -, the deputy mayor of the capital of the country, Diego Santilli, was presented this Thursday to head a list that will compete with the one led by the neurologist Facundo Manes.
Santilli represents Propuesta Republicana and is supported by the Civic Coalition, while Manes represents the Radical Civic Union. The three parties make up the opposition coalition.
In his speech to launch his candidacy for federal deputy, Santilli -who is supported by the mayor of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta- stated that Argentines are living “a moment full of anguish” and “darkness” and that he listens to the “concerns” of the population regarding inflation, the closing of companies and schools.
“In today’s Argentina, reality beats the story”, he said, because six out of ten children are poor, and in one year, 90,700 businesses and 41,200 SMEs closed, leaving almost 200 thousand people without work.
“We can change the reality”, he promised and relied on his management in the area of security in the capital of the country, as well as on the difference in treatment during the pandemic. “We Argentines want to say enough,” he assured.
OFFICIALISM AGAINST MACRI
Meanwhile, the coalition that governs the country from 2019, the Frente de Todos, still debates its lists within the formation, which is led by the president, Alberto Fernández; the vice-president and former president (2007-2015), Cristina Fernández, and the president of the Chamber of Deputies, Sergio Massa.
President Fernández vindicated this Thursday the presidencies of Néstor Kirchner (2003-2007) and acknowledged that in the first government of Cristina Fernández “rights were extended in a way not remembered in democracy” and that he had been critical of her second administration, but that “they lived in freedom until the last day.”
Meanwhile, he criticized Macri’s government: “They made us believe that the State was too much”, “they got us into debt,” and “now it is very shocking because they are explaining to us how to fix the debt.”
In the same act, the governor of the province of Buenos Aires, Axel Kicillof, the vice-president’s dauphin, criticized Thursday the previous management of the opposition in the nation -in charge of Macri, absent in the launches- and the province -in charge of María Eugenia Vidal, who in this election will move to the capital district.
“Whatever they are called, whatever they change the logo, whatever they change the name, whatever they change the colors, for Argentines neoliberalism and its current form, Macrismo always means the same: adjustment, debt, unemployment, false promises”, pointed out Kicillof.
Kicillof said he had “no doubt” that the people “besides having confidence and looking to the future”, “have memory” and assured that “without memory, there is no future”.
In this year’s legislative elections, which were postponed for a month due to the pandemic, 127 of the 257 seats in the Chamber of Deputies will be renewed from all the provinces and the city of Buenos Aires; further, 24 of the 72 seats in the Senate – from the provinces of Catamarca, Chubut, Córdoba, Corrientes, La Pampa, Mendoza, Santa Fe, and Tucumán – will be up for grabs.