Monday, March 4, 2024

ARGENTINA | 09-02-2024 17:43

‘New political design is coming’ – Bullrich talks PRO-La Libertad Avanza merger

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich says long-awaited merger between her PRO party and Javier Milei's La Libertad Avanza is on the cards. Spaces are “walking together,” says minister, and "a new political design is coming."

Argentina's political line-up is preparing for a reshuffle with leaders in both the right-wing PRO party and libertarian La Libertad Avanza parties talking up the potential of a formal coalition.

Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said at the tail-end of last week that Argentina's right wing lawmakers are ready for "a new political design" that could see President Javier Milei's libertarian party line up in Congress with PRO, the party she previously led and that was founded by former president Mauricio Macri.

A number of former officials in Macri's 2015-2019 government, including Bullrich, are serving in the government of Milei, who took office last December.

Likewise many PRO lawmakers have backed La Libertad Avanza in Congress on key votes. Milei's party is in the minority in both chambers of Congress and needs the support of allies and opposition lawmakers to pass legislation.

Bullrich, who is the president of PRO's National Council, said on television Friday that a more formal agreement could now be on the cards.

“It’s coming because it’s the idea that has to govern, not political structures. The ideas are very similar, we’re walking together,” the former presidential candidate told LN+ news channel.

“I don’t want to rush it. It’s open for debate," she added.

“I’m pushing for it, no doubt about it. So that the idea is not frustrated in Argentina, for change not to be frustrated again. We can’t afford for change to be frustrated again by interests hindering that change," concluded Bullrich.

She also revealed that several PRO leaders could join the government in the future because “there are many appointments missing."

Her remarks came after a sweeping reform bill from Milei's government was blocked in Congress. The president reacted by firing two government officials linked to Peronism, which opposed the bill.

Bullrich said "change" is the dividing line between today's lawmakers.

“This [omnibus] law was worked on for a long time, and perhaps priority was laid there, but I think there’s a clear conscience that it’s necessary to gain ground over those spaces dominated by people who are not only contrary, but from the very institutions talk against the Government and try to destroy it from within,” said the security chief.

Quizzed about the recent appointment of veteran Peronist politician Daniel Scioli as Tourism, Environment and Sport secretary, Bullrich stated: “I think it’s important that everyone who’s in the government, especially given our fight, to be aligned with the government. I don’t know if Scioli is aligned. He has been practising a very different idea for a number of years now."

She added: “All his people the other day celebrated the vote against the Omnibus Law. So, what’s that about? A personal prize? Is he a friend? The Government today has to be politically aligned. It’s not about friends. It’s about everyone having to defend the cause and take a chance."

On Saturday, in a second interview, Bullrich said that the details had yet to be worked out, though any agreement between the two parties could be a "coalition, merger or convergence."

"This coalition, merger, convergence, does not have a name yet. It is the idea that precedes the organisation, then we will see how it is organised, if it is a single party, in two parties if it is a parliamentary coalition," she told Radio Rivadavia.

"It is already underway," she added.



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