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Argentine Political Outlook (Dic-02-19) PDF Imprimir E-Mail
Dic-07-19, by Rosendo Fraga

1. The definition of power in Congress shows a clear control by the Vice President-elect Cristina Kirchner, as expected. She completed the make-up of the Upper House, meeting her goals. She managed to unify the senators bloc, - the governors would have preferred an "inter-block" that would leave them with some autonomy, - and put a senator from Formosa (Mayans) in charge, who responds to Governor Insfrán, - who begins his seventh consecutive term, - aligned with Cristina Kirchner. This bloc has a minimum of 40 senators in addition to some allies. As Provisional President of the Senate, she appointed, - with the support of her bench, - the wife of the Governor of Santiago del Estero, - Senator Ledesma, - who will replace her when she is not in the country. (Something that, at least initially, could be frequent.) The Cambiemos bloc has 29 senators and the ruling party will have to negotiate with a part of it, to reach the required two-thirds to make some decisions, such as the appointment of judges. Once the Senate is defined, on Wednesday 4 the new congress members will be sworn in. Sergio Massa will be confirmed as the President of the Lower House. Also in it, the Vice President-elect unified the various blocks into one, putting her son Máximo at the head of it, which has 120 members, 9 short of those required for the majority. Negotiations are carried out to expand the block with like-minded members. As for Cambiemos, it has a block of 117, but it shows cracks in terms of cohesion. 


2. But Cristina Kirchner is making progress in the Executive that was not so predictable. Since Monday, November 18, when she arrived from her seventh trip to Cuba, two weeks have passed. The cabinet that Alberto Fernández had decided on was subject to changes. There were three ministries that Sergio Massa was going to occupy (Security, Transportation and Economy) and in all three there were modifications, neutralizing the influence of the former Mayor of Tigre, who had initially also sought control of YPF, the largest state company. But this participation of Massa had been decided by Alberto Fernández. Cristina has also managed to appoint like-minded officials for the General Treasury Office (Zannini) and the National Attorney General's Office (Slokar). They are two key functions for the management of justice. The influence of Kirchnerism is also evident in key positions outside the cabinet. Figures of this orientation will control the ANSES, the PAMI, the FIU and the AFIP. On the ideological side, this reorganization of the last 15 days seeks to align the Ministries of Security and Defense and eventually the Ministry of Buenos Aires Security behind a progressive front. In the economic area, in the middle of several versions, only the name Kulfas, - in which Alberto and Cristina coincide, - seems assured. They also coincide in the President of the Central Bank (Pesce). On Monday, December 2, the Vice President elect appears before the court to testify in the case of the diversion of the public works of Santa Cruz, one of the nine that she has been accused of. She asked that her process be broadcast on TV, but the court rejected it. She will contend that she is a "persecuted politician" as a consequence "of the manipulation of justice that Macri has carried out". For his part, the President-elect had a definition regarding the former K officials over corruption: "If they do not have a firm conviction like Julio de Vido's they must be released."


3. The lack of leadership that Fernandez showed in the face of the K offensive in discharging the future power, dismantled the coalition that was presented in Tucumán on October 29. Then the President-elect was surrounded by the governors of the PJ, Peronist mayors of the Buenos Aires suburbs and the CGT. It was a coalition of power with the ability to successfully deal with Kirchnerism. But in the following days, with skill and efficiency, the Vice President-elect moved her pieces, acquiring full control of Congress and an important influence on the Executive. The governors have thus lost the power they had in Congress by merging the blocks under K leadership and they are virtually without a presence in the Cabinet, where the Interior Ministry will be controlled by a leader of La Cámpora (Wado de Pedro). The mayors of the Buenos Aires suburbs, who intended to condition the decisions of the new Governor, Axel Kicillof, do not seem to achieve it. Only one of them will be appointed for the Cabinet: Katopodis to Production. For their part, the unions want to have influence in the three Ministries: Labor, Social Welfare and Health. The first will be controlled by a lawyer who is in good terms with unions (Moroni) -not with all-. Social Welfare will be led by a man from Massa's circle (Arroyo), and the Health Ministry will be controlled by Gonzalez García, who also led the same ministry under the first K term. In this Ministry, the priority of unions is to control the Superintendence of Health Services.


4. For his part, Macri takes his last trip. He will visit Spain and then Brazil and on December 7, he will preside over the demonstration in his support called by Cambiemos. In Spain he will participate in the Climate Summit. In Brazil, he will participate in the semiannual Summit of Presidents of Mercosur, within which there are significant tensions due to the lower tariffs that Bolsonaro is promoting. But Macri will be received by two presidents who took sides for him in the election (Bolsonaro and Benítez) and another who supported Fernández (Tabaré). On the way back, he will preside over the demonstration called by Cambiemos for next Saturday as an initial step to recover power in 2023. After the election, the plan was that Macri would broadcast a message to the Nation, taking stock of his presidency. But then it was decided to report balances of each of the areas of government separately. The calling mechanisms through social media by Cambiemos have been put to work with intensity in the organization of the march. But Macri begins to face resistance to his leadership. The group of national congress members led by Emilio Monzó, has begun to assume publicly that the government has failed and cannot be presented as a victory. Vidal for her part, has issued some self-criticism. Rodríguez Larreta, in turn, has limited the entry to his structure of national government officials promoted by Macri, who in a somewhat curious statement, said now that he does not want to run for elections again. On Sunday, December 8, the Church conducts a mass in Luján to "close the crack", to which Macri and Fernández have committed themselves to attend.


5. To conclude:


a) On Dec 4, with the swearing in of the new 129 national congress members, the vice president-elect will consolidate a significant control at the Senate and the Lower House as well, though not so strong.


b) Two days later, on Dec 6, Alberto Fernandez will present his Cabinet, which will show Cristina Kirchner's influence greater than expected a few weeks ago.


c) The governors, mayors and CGT who supported the president elect in relation to the vice president elect, have lost power and influence and also give in to the K.


d) Macri takes his last trip abroad and on Dec 7 he will preside a demonstration driven by his supporters, but his future leadership begins to face some difficulties.

Documentos del CENM

Una visión de largo plazo:
Análisis del documento “Tendencias globales 2035” del Consejo de Inteligencia de los EEUU


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