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La candidatura presidencial de Sarmiento

A lo largo del libro, se percibe como en la candidatura presidencial de Sarmiento, confluyen por un lado el proceso, por otro lado la voluntad y acción del protagonista y también las circunstancias e imponderables que siempre juegan un rol en el devenir político.  



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Inicio arrow Análisis arrow Argentine Political Outlook (Oct-09-18)

Argentine Political Outlook (Oct-09-18) PDF Imprimir E-Mail
Oct-09-18, by Rosendo Fraga

1. The alliance between Macri and Carrió has never been as close to break-up as now and this is an electoral and governance problem for the ruling party. Paradoxically, on Monday, Oct 1, the new President of the Court (Rosenkrantz) took over, marking a great success for it, given the claim to replace the predecessor (Lorenzetti), for whom it had requested impeachment. This week it will request the impeachment of the Minister of Justice (Garavano) for claiming that it was not good that the former presidents are in prison. But, the Macri-Carrió crisis has been triggered by the replacement of the DGI head (Castagnola). She asked for no replacement and the Administration did not hear her. According to the leader of the Civic Coalition, the replacement of the head of the tax collection agency and several other officials is to prevent the cousin of the President (Calcaterra) from being investigated for paying bribes from the company IECSA -owned by the Macri family- to Odebrecht for the excavation of the Sarmiento railway. But she also took advantage to show her confrontation with the President of Boca (Angelici), who at the same time would be the main "operator" of the President in the Judiciary. She said that the President has to choose, "it's either Angelici or me, he chooses or falls." She said that she will not break the alliance with the ruling party, as Chacho Alvarez did eighteen years ago, but has given an ultimatum to the President to accept her claims before the end of the year. Carrió reporting the corruption of the Macri Administration may be a governance problem, but also an electoral issue for 2019, especially if she presents her own alternative that would subtract votes from Cambiemos. 

2. Meanwhile Macri tries to advance with his re-election to avoid being a "lame duck" in the year that remains until the elections rather than as an electoral strategy. On two occasions, on Tuesday 2 and Thursday 4 October, the Chief of Staff (Peña) publicly spoke about the re-election of Macri. On Wednesday he was in the Lower House, where he gave his monthly report before Congress, receiving most of the criticism about the economy, and eluding several of the answers. The President, for his part, continued to act as a campaign candidate: he visited Tierra del Fuego and Misiones; stressed the importance of the gender agenda for his government; wrote a note in the newspaper "El Liberal" of Santiago del Estero. The polarization with Cristina continues to be his most important electoral strategy, although several polls in recent days show that if the election were today, Cristina could win in the second round. The government expects that the improvement in the economy will be felt in the second half of the year and that will reverse the situation in its favor. The loss of support in the middle class - the increase in gas will accentuate it - is a central concern in the ruling party, as the Minister of the Interior (Frigerio) has said. For its part, the Governor of Buenos Aires (Vidal) made a bell ringing campaign in the suburbs without Macri, trying not to lose contact with the sectors most harmed by the economic situation. In both poverty and unemployment, the Greater Buenos is 2 points above the national average. 

3. A year after the elections, Peronism begins to reorganize itself, perceiving that it can win, benefiting from the economic-social deterioration. Three lines move in this direction: the four leaders who consider themselves founders of the "Argentine Alternative" that seeks to group the anti-K Peronism: Schiaretti, Massa, Urtubey and Pichetto; the rest of the governors who do not accept their leadership and who are going to commemorate October 17 in Tucumán, summoned by the governor of the province (Manzur) and the "official" PJ, whose President (Gioja) is aligned with Cristina. She is willing to run for election, but with her own party (Acción Ciudadana) and outside the PJ. She does not seem willing to give up positions on the slates or to compete in open primaries with other sectors of the PJ. A first instance sentence for any of the half dozen cases against her un court is not expected before June, when alliances and candidacies are formalized. If her immunity is removed, she is willing to be a candidate from prison. On Sunday, Oct 7, a petition was sent in support of her, claiming that she should be "banned", signed by the former Presidents of Uruguay (Mujica), two of Brazil (Lula and Rousseff), one of Ecuador (Correa), of Honduras (Zelaya), Colombia (Samper), Paraguay (Lugo), the leader of the Spanish party Podemos (Iglesias), former Judge Garzón, Noam Chomsky, Rigoberta Menchú, etc. The defeat of the PT candidate in Brazil (Haddad) in the first round does not help Cristina's international strategy. 

4. The negotiation of the Executive and the governors over the budget has not yet finished, trade unions debate their strategy and the Church plays an increasing role in the social field. The Lower House has not sessioned since July 4 and the Senate since August 22, an unusual inactivity for a government that won the previous election overwhelmingly. Earlier this week, the governors of the PJ met to press the Executive once again and two days later is the deadline for the agreement to reached. The possibility that the Executive reschedules the debt has become a relevant point of negotiation. A joint questioning of the PJ in the Lower House, for the increase in gas bills is a new problem. On 8 and 9 October, teachers from Buenos Aires are expected to launch another strike. María Eugenia Vidal will attempt a new negotiation before the end of the week. So far, Moyano has managed to ensure that few guilds follow him on his way out of the CGT. But within it are those who want to try to resume dialogue with the government and those who are inclined to move towards a plan of struggle. The head of the gastronomic guild (Barrionuevo), relaunches the 62 Peronist Organizations and will participate on October 17 of the rally that will take place in Tucumán. For his part, Moyano has joined the PJ presided by Gioja. The Archbishop of La Plata (Fernandez) brought together trade union leaders and social movements in conflict with the government, but at the same time highlighted the dialogue that is open with the Governor. The pilgrimage to Luján where hundreds of thousands of young people participated - surpassed the attendance at the opening of the Youth Olympics - confirming the power of mobilization maintained by the Catholic Church. 

5. To conclude: 

a) The Macri-Carrio crisis is the most serious one since Cambiemos was created, and could risk both governance and next year's election for the ruling coalition. 

b) The president moves towards his reelection to avoid a premature power loss rather than to respond to an electoral need, as Peña is his main spokesman and strategist. 

c) Peronism gets organized to dispute power in 2019 with an anti-K sector split in two, and Kirchnerism pushing the candidacy of Cristina, which whom Macri wants to polarize. 

d) The talks with governors over the Budget could finish this week, the CGT is divided and discusses whether it should move towards a struggle plan, as the Church plays a growing role in the social field.

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