Buenos Aires Times

argentina CÓRDOBA ELECTION

Schiaretti in no hurry as Córdoba goes to vote

Incumbent Peronist governor takes traditional route as he closes campaigning sitting on huge lead in the polls. Cambiemos schism runs deep as rival Radicals Mestre and Negri split the vote.

Saturday 11 May, 2019
Juan Schiaretti closes his campaign in Rayo Cortado.
Juan Schiaretti closes his campaign in Rayo Cortado. Foto:NA

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No closing rallies in the final we ek of Córdoba’s election campaign – t h e m a i n c a n d i d a t e s went out to meet the electorate instead of requiring voters to come to them.

The two rival Radicals, Ramón Mestre and Mario Negri, opted for motorcades in the provincial capital although also descending f r o m t h e i r campaign veh i c l e s t o walk around to talk to voters.

Incumbent Peronist Governor Juan Schiaretti (less in a hurry, perhaps because he is sitting on a huge opinion poll lead) chose a more traditiona l approach, going out to the voters of this conservative province in a sulky horse and carriage. He chose Rayo Cortado, a small northern village with some 800 inhabitants, for this campaign closure in a supreme display of confidence.

Neither t h e m o to r c a d e s n o r Schiaretti’s more antiquated locomotion seemed to generate much popular enthusiasm, perhaps because the result seems such a foregone conclusion. Nor were there any debates during the campaign to stimulate interest.

Even the closer race in the provincial capital does not seem to be triggering much suspense since the Cambiemos split has left the door wide open for Peronist mayoral candidate Martín Llaryora.

Schiaretti told reporters that he had visited all 427 municipalities (defined in Córdoba as any community with over 2,000 inhabitants) of the province and that in all of them he had seen public works underway.

“Our main slogan is to advance on the basis of what we’ve already done,” he said, adding that Córdoba should also look to new industries (like software, “a reality in our province”).

The governor also made sure to extend his condolences to the family of Marcelo Yadón (shot dead outside Congress on Thursday) and his best wishes to wounded Radical deputy Héctor Olivares.

Negri generally preferred talking to voters rather than reporters but outgoing provincial capital mayor Mestre was more loquacious.

Although opinion polls showed him well behind Negri, never mind Schiaretti, Mestre appealed to this week’s Champions League semi-final upsets to express confidence in victory. If Barcelona could lose 4-0 to Liverpool, the Radicals could win tomorrow, he insisted.

Schiaretti’s administration was not as great as the governor claimed, he argued, pointing to acute shortfalls in health and education in a province with 36.5 percent of the population below the poverty line.

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