Wednesday, July 24, 2024

ARGENTINA | 18-10-2023 14:06

Cristina Fernández de Kirchner returns in Buenos Aires ahead of election

Argentina's vice-president plans series of meetings with her closest leaders and allies as ruling coalition looks to boost votes in key Buenos Aires Province municipalities to ensure Axel Kiciloff’s re-election as governor and Sergio Massa’s spot in the presidential run-off.

Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner is back in Buenos Aires. After arriving from Santa Cruz – and with Argentina's presidential election just days away, the veteran politician has a series of meetings scheduled before she is due to return south to cast her ballot on election day.

The former head of state, who led Argentina as president from 2007 to 2015, stayed away from the celebrations in the capital marking Peronist Loyalty Day and did not take part in the closing campaign rally staged by Unión por la Patria in Sarandí, headed by presidential candidate Sergio Massa and Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof, who is seeking re-election.

Nevertheless, Fernández de Kirchner has a full agenda for the coming days at her Senate office and her residence in Recoleta, where she will hold meetings with leaders discussing the last days of campaigning. Keeping a low profile, she is expected to be in touch with her closest allies, including her son Máximo Kirchner and Interior Minister Eduardo 'Wado' de Pedro, as well as coalition leader Massa.

The conversations in the final stretch of the campaign will be focused on need to retain control Buenos Aires Province, the nation's key battleground, and creating the conditions for Massa to make it to the run-off and remain competitive. If neither he, nor Javier Milei or Patricia Bullrich win outright in the first round, a second-round run-off is set for November 19.

Government sources say the vice-president has been talking with mayors in the Greater Buenos Aires Province region to boost turnout and improve the ruling party’s performance in different districts of the region. At the same time, the ruling coalition wants control the damage caused to Unión por la Patria by the scandal involving former provincial Cabinet chief Martín Insaurralde, who resigned after taking a luxury holiday with a model on a yacht in Marbella.

Fernández de Kirchner is expected to return to Santa Cruz in the 48 hours leading up to voting day to cast her ballot. It is not confirmed whether she will return to Buenos Aires to follow the results on election night in Recoleta. She is not expected to visit the ruling party’s bunker in Chacarita.



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