The Frente de Todos candidate for governor of Buenos Aires Province, Axel Kicillof, closed his campaign last night with a rally that drew large crowds to La Plata.
He was joined by vice-presidential candidate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who leant her support for the former economy minister.
“We are going to transform the province and everyone of its municipalities,” vowed Kicillof, who was also joined by his running-mate, Verónica Magario, and Florencia Saintout, who is running for the mayorship of La Plata.
The Peronist politician claimed that incumbent governor María Eugenia Vidal had “left a devastated province” behind her after four years in office and he signalled that if he won he wouldn’t waste time “making excuses or placing blame” when taking office.
“That’s what the people are voting for. Not to talk about a second term, the flood of duties, “the worst is over,” or “the light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “They’re voting for the government officials who take on their responsibilities and govern on the side of the people.”
Kicillof said the “failures” of the Vidal government and President Mauricio Macri's national administration were “clear” and levied strong words against their approach to governance: “You told us that to govern was to wager whatever bet you could," Kicillof railed. "You said to govern was going to be a question of political marketing. But you can’t govern this country like a company.”
When it was Fernández de Kirchner’s time to speak, she applauded younger leaders like Kicillof and Magario that are “taking the helm” of their own generation. “I never liked idle youths, but I’ve always liked changing history because that is what we did here,” she said.
Later, she questioned if parts of local leadership had modelled themselves after the political and economic project of Chile led by Sebastian Piñera, saying the protests in the neighbouring country had been sparked by "unequal growth and inequality."
“If we don’t democratise the economy, it will be very difficult to construct a better society and this reality will continue in which we are suffering,” she declared, returning to a theme she regularly visited during her presidency.
In this vein, Fernández de Kirchner asked for there to be “an immense effort” to understand that the claim that’s been “sold as the ideal model of society, where the bonds of solidarity break, where it doesn’t matter to one person what happens to another, stops like it is stopping” in Chile.
She furthered the point by attacking the comments of Chile’s first lady, Hortensia Bussi, for taped comments leaked to the press in which she compares the protests of young Chileans against the government to “alien invasions.”
“To my fellow compatriots, I ask that you no longer believe everything you hear on the TV,” she added.
Fernández de Kirchner also cast her mind back to a 1973 demonstration she said she participated in, when she was aged 20 in La Plata, which denounced the coup d'etat that removed Salvador Allende from power in Chile.
"I remembered those images and it seemed to me that we had gone back to that 1973," said the former president.
Fernández de Kirchner wrapped up her speech by declaring: “There can’t be good societies that develop in peace if growth isn’t equal.”
Among the masses were Peronist politicians, union leaders, national government officials, social movement leaders and others who are backing the Frente del Todos ticket.