Outsider presidential candidate José Luis Espert today offered his endorsement to Horacio Rodríguez Larreta's campaign for re-election as mayor of Buenos Aires City.
The Frente Despertar leader announced his support for Rodríguez Larreta on Twitter, declaring that voting for the Juntos por el Cambio politician would prevent the city of Buenos Aires "from returning to past."
"As we [his party] have no candidate for mayor of [the Buenos Aires City] government, as we believe that the City must continue with its transformations and as our electoral contribution is decisive in preventing CABA from returning to the past, we have decided to support the candidacy of Horacio Rodríguez Larreta for head of Government," the economist posted on his official Twitter account.
Espert said that Rodríguez Larreta had invited him to meet at the headquarters of the Buenos Aires City government, in Parque Patricios. He also published photos of their meeting.
"We talked about issues in the City and he told us his vision to improve the lives of our neighbours. We expressed our views and we decided to move forward with a joint proposal," said the presidential candidate.
For his part, the head of the City Government thanked Espert for his support, also via his Twitter account.
"Thank you for the support. We know that we have to continue with the great transformations that we have already begun. I am sure that together, with all the neighbours, we can continue to make Buenos Aires a great place to live," Rodríguez Larreta said.
The PRO leader is attempting to build momentum ahead of the City mayor election, which takes place on October 27, the same day as the presidential vote. He faces a strong challenge from Frente de Todos candidate Matías Lammens, who has been tipped to pick up more votes after coalition leader Alberto Fernández's landslide PASO primary win over President Mauricio Macri on August 11.
The incumbent remains the favourite going into October's crucial vote, however, after taking 46.54 percent of the vote in the City mayor PASO primary. In contrast, Lammens – the president of the San Lorenzo de Almagro football club, – trailed on 31.97 percent, meaning the Frente de Todos candidate must perform much stronger if he is to to turn around Rodriguez Larreta's lead of more than 14 points.
Speaking earlier on Wednesday, Lammens accused of the City government of "not providing answers" to the economic crisis and mixing up its priorities.
"In the City, there is an enormous productive capacity and a high technological level, but unfortunately [the City Government] did not know how to take advantage of the professional and research resources that the district has," he said, blaming
He said porteños and businesses were "suffering from the national economic crisis and carelessness on the part of a government that does not respond and has its priorities disorganised," he added.