The letters with which Together for Change bet to win the presidency of Argentina

(CNN Spanish) — To the surprise of many, the vice president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and former president Mauricio Macri share an electoral vision for the presidential elections in October: the definition in the ballot seems inevitable.

“We are going to go to a second round with this new, more disruptive expression,” said Macri, leader of Together for Change, in relation to his force and Javier Milei, of La Libertad Avanza. In the ideological antipodes, Fernández de Kirchner, the maximum referent of the ruling Frente de Todos, assured that “the important thing is to reach the ballot.”

If the runoff scenario assumed by Kirchner and Macri were fulfilled, no force would obtain the necessary minimum of 45% to win in the first round nor would it exceed 40% with a difference of 10 points over the second force. Consequently, this projection includes, at least, the participation of an opposition force in the final vote for the presidency of Argentina.

The last antecedent of a second electoral round in Argentina dates from 2015. At that time, the Cambiemos coalition, now Juntos por el Cambio, defeated the Front for Victory, which brought together Kirchnerism and Peronism related to Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. That vote was the one that consecrated Macri as president of the Argentines. For this reason, the ballot stage excites Together for Change, although it must first resolve internal elections in the August 13 primaries. Until the publication of this article, 5 pre-candidates compete among themselves to become the candidate of the opposition coalition.

Horacio Rodriguez Larreta

His campaign team describes him as “the natural successor to Mauricio Macri.” He has followed in his footsteps in the City of Buenos Aires. He belongs to the PRO, the party founded by the former president in 2005. He will complete two consecutive terms as head of government of the Argentine capital, after Macri’s also two cycles at the head of the Buenos Aires mayor’s office, in which Rodríguez Larreta was chief of staff . Like his predecessor, he intends to jump from the building on Uspallata street (City Government headquarters) to the Casa Rosada. Despite these similarities, in the 2023 campaign both leaders showed differences, something that from Larreta’s side was classified as a sign of “autonomy and personality” of the alleged heir with his mentor. On the other hand, Rodríguez Larreta is considered the leader of the “moderate” sector of Together for Change, also called “doves”. His dialogue profile with the Frente de Todos contributed to the development of that label.

Patricia Bullrich

She is the maximum representative of what is considered the “hard” wing or the “hawks” of the PRO. On social networks, she presents herself as the candidate with “the necessary strength to order the country.” “Call it courage, bravery or determination. Call it eggs. Call it ovaries ”, completes such a description on her official website. In 2015 she joined the ranks of Cambiemos, today Together for Change. From that moment she began to cement her approach to Mauricio Macri. In fact, she was his security minister. After Macrista’s term in the Casa Rosada ended, Bullrich became the president of the PRO. Despite this, her curriculum vitae in politics dates back to the 70s. A video that went viral on networks showed Bullrich explaining that in those years she sang a song that says: “We are soldiers of FAR and Montoneros.” These groups were protagonists of the guerrilla in Argentina and faced the de facto government during the military dictatorship, whose leaders were convicted of carrying out a systematic extermination plan. Bullrich never made any reference to that video, although in 2017, on the program La Noche de Mirtha Legrand, she assured that she was not part of the Montoneros but of the Peronist Youth known as JP. In addition, she was Minister of Labor between 2000 and 2001 during the presidential term of Fernando de la Rúa, which ended prematurely in the great crisis of December 2001.}

Cristina Kirchner on the elections: The important thing is to enter the ballot <span class="caption--duration">0:57</span>

Gerardo Morales

He is the president of the Radical Civic Union. He has also governed the northern province of Jujuy since 2015. In 2023 he will complete his second term. Jujuy represents 1.6% of the total voters in the country, according to the 2021 electoral roll. He has had a strong confrontation with the Kirchnerist social activist Milagro Sala. His differences with Cristina Fernández de Kirchner come from his time as a senator, a position he held between 2001 and 2015. He was also an official in the failed government of Fernando de la Rúa, in which he served as Secretary of Social Development. His identification with the Radical Civic Union led him to demand more and more space for the centenary party within the Together for Change coalition. He clarifies that radicalism “is stronger” than in 2015 when the PRO defeated him in the presidential contest. An interesting political fact is that in May there were provincial elections in Jujuy. His successor as governor will be Carlos Sadir, the candidate that Morales had supported. At the time of the festivities, he appeared together with another presidential candidate: Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.

Facundo Manes

The neuroscientist made the leap into politics in 2021. He was a pre-candidate for deputy for the Radical Civic Union in the Province of Buenos Aires, the most populous in Argentina whose specific weight in the national electoral roll was 37% two years ago. He lost the internal election with 39.6% against Diego Santilli, of the PRO, who absorbed 60.3% of the votes of Together for Change. Manes and Santilli together had obtained 37.3% of the total votes in the Province of Buenos Aires. On the electoral power that Manes added to the opposition, the neurosurgeon declared that “only with Diego Santilli Together for Change did not win the PASO”. Just as the PRO presents internal differences, the Unión Cívica Radical also does so, given that the neuroscientist shows himself to be a different option from Gerardo Morales.

Miguel Angel Pichetto

It represents the Peronist branch of Together for Change. That almost antagonistic definition, Peronism and Together for Change, describes his career. It was “deskirchnerized” it could be affirmed. Mauricio Macri opened the doors of the coalition for him when in 2019 he proposed to be his running mate in the failed re-election attempt. At that time, Pichetto was part of a space called Alternativa Federal and was classified as “anti-grieta”, in reference to what different analysts have called “grieta” to define the political, cultural and ideological division that exists between different sectors of the country. Sergio Massa led that third way, different from Kirchner’s Peronism and Together for Change. However, when the now Minister of Economy decided to join the Frente de Todos, that space disintegrated and Pichetto accepted Macri’s proposal. Pichetto made pendulum movements, given that between 2001 and 2019 he served as a Peronist senator. There he built a long career as a kind of “owner of the Senate.” He was the head of the Kirchnerist bench, although in December 2017 he broke the bloc and created a new one with non-Kirchnerist Peronists.

In this way, it would be the first time that a political space presents at least 5 presidential candidates. Internal competition has not been bad for Together for Change. In 2015 Mauricio Macri, Ernesto Sanz and Elisa Carrió contested the primary and the final result catapulted the coalition to the presidency. In 2019, without internal competition, that is, with a single candidate, Together for Change did not get re-election. In 2021, in the province of Buenos Aires, he managed to defeat the Frente de Todos after overcoming the contest between Santilli and Manes, and in 2023 he will once again apply the internal competition formula. Will it serve to return to the Casa Rosada or will so many candidates offer wear down whoever wins?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *