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Mon May 13, 2019, 03:14 AM

Eighth straight loss for Macri's 'Let's Change' renews calls to break with unpopular president

Elections in Córdoba Province - Argentina's second-largest - gave incumbent Governor Juan Schiaretti a resounding victory, and President Mauricio Macri's right-wing "Let's Change" coalition its eighth straight defeat so far this year.

With 91% of the vote in, Schiaretti won reelection today with 57%, with Macri's candidate, Mario Negri, with 19%, and Ramón Mestre of the centrist UCR (junior partners in 'Let's Change') at just 12%.

While Schiaretti, a centrist within the Justicialist Party (founded by the late populist leader Juan Perón), was widely expected to win today, his lopsided victory was a political sting for Macri, whose surrogates had campaigned extensively for Negri.

Negri, moreover, was unable to run on a united 'Let's Change' ticket because on March 11, the Córdoba UCR broke with the coalition over disaffection with Macri and his handling of the deepest economic crisis since the 2001 collapse.

The UCR fielded Mestre separately instead, and in turn lost control of the city of Córdoba (Argentina's second largest), which elected a Justicialist mayor - Martín Llaryora, who won by 19% - for the first time since 1973.

Tonight's defeat in Córdoba marks the eighth straight defeat in provincial polls for Macri since a February 17 'Let's Change' primary in La Pampa Province yielded an unexpected rebuke for the president's hand-picked candidate, Carlos MacAllister of Macri's hard-right PRO, by UCR Congressman Daniel Kroneberger - and by a lopsided 32%.

The defeat in La Pampa was followed by seven more so far:

∙ Neuquén Province on March 10, where 'Let's Change' lost by 25%
∙ San Juan Province on March 31, by 22%
∙ Chubut Province on April 7, by 18%
∙ Río Negro Province, the same day, by 47%
∙ Entre Ríos Province on April 14, by 21%
∙ Santa Fe Province (the nation's third-largest) on April 28, by 14%
∙ And today's defeat in Córdoba, by 26% (by 38%, taking Negri alone).

Radical departure

This trend, plus Argentina's deepening economic crisis and Macri's 24% approval ratings, have renewed calls by many in the UCR (known in Argentina as "Radicals" despite their moderate politics) to break with Macri entirely when the party meets for their convention on May 27.

Ricardo Alfonsín, who as the son of former President Raúl Alfonsín (elected in 1983 after a ruinous, 7-year dictatorship) wields considerable influence in the UCR, is among those who supports endorsing economist Roberto Lavagna instead - as the UCR already once did in 2007.

"The UCR must form a new front that recovers the confidence and expectations of the people, and that includes socialists, GEN (a small centrist party), and sectors within Peronism," Alfonsín advised.

"If the electoral choices in 2019 are the same as those in 2015, the winner this time will be United Citizens" - in reference to the center-left party founded by former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whom recent polls show winning against any potential rival despite not yet announcing her candidacy.

The sentiment was echoed in February by UCR Vice President Federico Storani, a Córdoba Province native.

"We're useful in (Macri's) search for power but can't discuss social policies. When they're in a pickle, they call you for a photo-op and then disappear."

At: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&tab=wT&sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.pagina12.com.ar%2F193472-elecciones-en-cordoba-arraso-el-peronismo



Re-elected Córdoba Province Governor Juan Schiaretti (left) and Martín Llaryora, candidate for mayor of the city of Córdoba (Argentina's second-largest), celebrate their victories tonight.

Their Justicialist Party easily defeated candidates endorsed by President Mauricio Macri, whose right-wing administration - despite staunch support by most corporate media in Argentina - may be denied a second term this October by the sharpest recession since the country's 2001-02 collapse.

The trend - and the crisis itself - has renewed calls among the ruling coalition's junior (and largely ignored) partners, the UCR, to break with Macri altogether.

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Reply Eighth straight loss for Macri's 'Let's Change' renews calls to break with unpopular president (Original post)
sandensea May 2019 OP
Judi Lynn May 2019 #1
sandensea May 2019 #2
Judi Lynn May 2019 #3

Response to sandensea (Original post)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:01 AM

1. Wow! This article indicates far more complexity in politics in Argentina than I was aware.

Great news to see today. Surely hope it continues, and intensifies with these trends.

The convention is extremely close at hand, and the huge election is not so far behind. 8th loss. Hate to count on anything at this point, considering how wildly fast very strange things can happen when the stakes are so high.

Is Ricardo Alfonsín someone who would ever consider running, himself? Just curious. He does have a built-in advantage, real access politcally right from the start.

Greatest interest in former President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner's numbers. Her heart must be stronger than most people's, considering how much pain they have thrown her way trying to run her out of office already, and then the abuse Macri dumped on her afterwards was unforgiveable. He was so determined to psyche her out, to terrorize her, to keep her too afraid to try it again, and no doubt he was hoping all the filthy propaganda his people were slinging at her would stick and diminish her popularity. Right-wingers are relentless, shameless mud-slingers and liars. Looks to me as if the public is quite educated on the value of the propaganda and rubbish slander already.

Hoping with every fiber that Macri is headed toward the dumpster in October, to be followed by his bully from the North.



You have made the day for some of us, sandensea! Thank you, so much.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #1)

Mon May 13, 2019, 04:36 AM

2. I tell you, every time Cheeto signals his support for Macri, Macri sinks even deeper

Oh, not so much because Trump is disliked in Argentina (he is; but not as intensely as in, say, Mexico); but because it contrasts so wildly with each new awful round of economic data - to say nothing of people's own hardships.

Get a load of this one, from last week:

“President Trump expressed strong support for President Macri’s pro-growth economic agenda and the strides he has made in modernizing the Argentine economy,” Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere said.


The statement, you can imagine, was cold comfort to Trump's pal Macri. I mean, I know Cheeto's people like to pretend they're in some alternate universe - but this is ridiculous.

As far as Ricardo Alfonsín, the conventional wisdom in Argentina is that, while he lacks a sufficient political base (or the kind of talent his father had) to mount a strong presidential campaign of his own, he's on the short list for running mate to a number of potential and/or declared candidates - possibly including, if she runs, Cristina Kirchner herself.

While they've never been close, the two are not that far apart policy-wise - and Raúl Alfonsín and the Kirchners had tremendous respect for each other.

It's more likely, of course, that if he's anyone's Número Dos, it'll be Roberto Lavagna's - who's been stuck in a distant 3rd place (15% or so), and whose chances would rise a good bit with an Alfonsín as a running mate.

But be it on Cristina's ticket (if she runs at all), Lavagna's, or someone else's, my guess is that Ricardo Alfonsín is waiting for the outcome of the May 27 UCR convention to decide.

If the UCR leadership (mostly right-wing) trumps the UCR rank-and-file (mostly centrist), Alfonsín will probably leave "Let's Change" on the spot - him and many others in the party.

The way Macri's been using them - pretty much like servants at a banquet - they should've already, if you ask me.

As Rodney Dangerfield would no doubt put it: No respect at all.

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Response to sandensea (Reply #2)

Tue May 14, 2019, 03:37 AM

3. Funny, reading the quote from Judd Deere, imagined it came from a newspaper from the Twilight Zone!

Sounds like an alternate universe, by all means.

That note of support should have a great impact on Macri's next smooth moves. It really is comical, if it weren't for the suffering the people are having to endure. Have never seen anyone do that much damage to an economy so quickly.

Thanks for the info. on Alfonsín. As I mentioned, to outsiders, the politics there seem far more complex than anything going here. I was very surprised not so long ago to realize there are factions in the Peronists totally unlike each other. That was a big surprise.


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