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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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Argentine Political Outlook (Feb-11-19) PDF Imprimir E-Mail
Feb-11-19, by Rosendo Fraga
 

1. The President faces growing resistance from Radicalism within Cambiemos, as the governors of Mendoza and Jujuy refuse to unify elections and the holding of primary elections. The Governor of Mendoza (Cornejo), - the leading member of the party for being the Governor of the most important province governed by the UCR, - ignored the request of the Administration and called the provincial election for September 29, a month before the presidential poll. In turn, the governor of Jujuy (Morales) announced the election will be anticipated, although not determining the date yet. Next Sunday, February 17, the first primaries will be held - without mandatory voting - in La Pampa. Within Cambiemos, the PRO candidate (Mc Alister) competes against the UCR candidate (Kroneberger), supported by all La Pampa mayors of the ruling coalition. On March 17, the Cambiemos primary election will take place for the provincial election of Cordoba. A Radical Party candidate supported by the PRO (Negri) competes with a "pure" Radical contender (Mestre). April 14 will hold the open primaries in Entre Rios and there will also be a primary within Cambiemos. Two weeks later, on April 28, the open primaries will be held in Santa Fe. The Radical Party has split up: one sector runs with the Socialism that governs the province and another one supports Cambiemos, where more than one slate is presented. In Mendoza, there are primaries within Cambiemos, between the radical candidate (Suárez), - mayor of the Capital city-, and PRO candidate (De Marchi), mayor of Godoy Cruz. Cornejo in turn, claims that the candidate for Vice President of Cambiemos be a Radical Party member. Macri managed to align Carrio and Vidal in his electoral strategy, but failed to do it with Radicalism. 

2. Meanwhile Cristina continues to develop her electoral strategy, sending messages of unity and moderation, which seek to contribute to lower her level of rejection, that complicates the second round. She drives unity in those provinces that anticipate the provincial elections with varying success. The same thing happens in the province of Buenos Aires, where she hints at imposing a candidate (Kicillof), but at the same time she talks with and sends messages to the mayors. Her "operators" like Alberto Fernandez, speak of a "broad front" to defeat Macri. Apart from Kirchnerism, Lavagna maintains that his candidacy must be the result of "consensus" and not of "primaries". Massa and Urtubey do not accept this proposal for now, but if Pichetto has done it, who said that Lavagna's candidacy must be the result of "consensus." The former Economy Minister spoke publicly last week, saying that a "government of national unity" is required. For their part, the governors seek above all to win the provincial election, postponing the national definition until they resolve it. The first election for governor will take place on March 10 in Neuquén and will be held through electronic voting. The latest polls show an electorate divided into three: the current Governor of the Movimiento Popular Neuquino (Gutiérrez), who goes for re-election and whose party has never lost in the province in sixty years. The candidate of Cambiemos (Quiroga) is radical and the one driven by the PJ (Rioseco) is of Kirchnerist origin, but has managed to avoid alternative Peronist slates. 

3. As February goes on, the social front becomes more active, with bigger conflicts, as both social leaders and trade unionists expect. On Wednesday, February 6, two social movements (Barrios en Pie and Polo Obrero) marched from the Congress to the Plaza de Mayo, demanding the expansion of social plans. This week, on Wednesday 13, there will be a wider and more crowded march, with the participation of the CTEP and the CCC, more union leaders, demanding the approval of four laws: social emergency, food emergency, social infrastructure and family farming. The utility bills so far this year, have been questioned by "torch" marches organized by trade unions in various parts of the country and with the "noise-making protest" of the middle sectors in the metropolitan region on Fridays. On Wednesday 13, Governor Vidal began negotiations with the Buenos Aires teachers' unions, which in 2018 carried out 29 days of strike. It is not an easy negotiation, where she hopes to make an important offer in the matter of presenteeism. In ten other provinces, teachers are negotiating salaries. The industrial sector is the one that shows the greatest conflictivity. More than half of dismissals in 2018 were in this sector, although it has less than 20% of pay-rolled employment. The first quarter of 2019 shows that layoffs and suspensions continue in this sector. This may explain why the UIA opens the dialogue with social movements. 

4. Although the President is confident that he will win the election, going for a joint campaign with Vidal and Larreta, his team knows that if the voting were today, he could lose. The three opinion polls that were released last week show a very even outcome, with a slight edge for Cristina in two and for Macri in one. The polls conducted by the government show a drop in the government approval in January, after the last two months of relative recovery. The ruling party intends to postpone all conflicting issues for after the elections, including demands from the IMF such as labor and pension reforms. Meanwhile, it will continue to focus on the crime rate and K corruption. In this regard, the court would reject the Cristina's claim to postpone the start of her first trial on February 26. As February goes on, the idea that the ruling party will not convene the extraordinary sessions of the Congress, gains ground. As for the Court, it must still define the schedule that will be issued in the coming weeks. The trip that the President initiates this weekend to India and Vietnam, - postponed many times before - is relevant for the commercial outlook offered for the country. Previously, he will briefly visit Singapore, a country with which Argentina has created a state-run investment fund. 

5. To conclude: 

a) Macri managed to align Carrió and Vidal in his electoral strategy but could not do it with the UCR, whose governors will anticipate the elections and its leaders impose primaries in several provinces. 

b) In the PJ, Cristina sends a message of unity and moderation, and in anti-kirchnerism, Lavagna seeks a candidacy by consensus without primaries, with the support of Pichetto and the opposition of Massa and Urtubey. 

c) The social front steps up its conflictivity as February goes by, intensifying social marches, starting talks with teachers and layoffs in the industrial sector. 

d) Opinion polls show that if the election was today, Macri -who starts an important trip across India and Vietnam- may lose, in times when he postpones calling the extraordinary sessions and puts the emphasis on the crime rate and K corruption.

 
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