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ARGENTINA | 28-10-2019 16:03

Alberto Fernández gives Macri the names of his transition team

At a breakfast meeting at the Casa Rosada, Peronist president-elect informs Mauricio Macri of the names of officials who will oversee the transition between the two governments.

President-elect Alberto Fernández has handed Mauricio Macri a list of officials who will oversee the transition between their two governments, dropping the first hints about the make-up of his Cabinet.

Local outlets were reporting speculation over various names on Monday morning, after few details emerged of the meeting between the two party leaders. Some names, however, cropped up repeatedly.

Sources told on Monday that four figures would oversee the process: Santiago Cafiero, the president-elect's campaign chief, along with former finance secretary Guillermo Nielsen and economists Matías Kulfas and Cecilia Todesca.

Todesca, sources confirmed, would be "central" in the first stage of the transition, with Frente de Todos staffer Nicolás Trotta featuring as a reference point for all matters political.

The Clarín daily described Cafiero, a key figure in the Grupo Callao think-tank or 'mesa chica', as the "visible face of 'albertismo,'" in an article on Monday, while La Nación suggested he would named Cabinet chief come December.

Other names said to be involved in the economic side of the transition include former Central Bank governor Mercedes Marcó Del Pont and former production ministerJosé Ignacio De Mendiguren, local outlets reported.

That would indicate that Emanuel Álvarez Agis, an economist and adviser during the campaign, will play less of a role than previously anticipated.

The names of Justicialist Party (PJ) politician Juan Manuel Olmos, PJ national deputy Felipe Solá and Kirchnerite lawmaker Eduardo "Wado" de Pedro were also included, with the latter said to be in the running for the post of interior minister.

Additional names cited by local outlets included Vilma Ibarra, Fernández's former partner, who is reportedly being lined up for the post of legal secretary, and Gustavo Béliz, an official who served under late president Néstor Kirchner.

Fernández is believed to have told the president the names during their one-hour breakfast meeting at the Casa Rosada on Monday. Many of them – especially Cafiero, Neilsen, Kulfas and Todesca – come as no surprise, although interestingly there are no explicitly Kirchernite politicians on the list, bar De Pedro.

Macri said Sunday night he had invited Fernández "because he has to start a period of orderly transition that will bring tranquility to Argentines."

The Casa Rosada's official photographer, who witnessed the meeting between the two leaders, said the duo had "received each other very well," adding that they were both in good spirits. Victor Bugge said he also embraced Fernández, having known him from his time serving as Cabinet chief.

Fernández arrived at the Casa Rosada accompanied by his spokesman, Juan Pablo Biondi.

The meeting lasted an hour and was held behind closed doors.

Government officials said the president had described the meeting to them as a "good dialogue."

Finance Minister Hernán Lacunza said Macri had said "it was a good initial dialogue for this transition, which will continue with the different teams and in different areas."

Lacunza said Fernández could count on "the total willingness of this outgoing government to cooperate," saying that "the important thing is the well-being of the Argentines. "

As Fernández departed the Casa Rosada he greeted waiting journalists and supporters gathered outside government house.


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