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ARGENTINA | 10-11-2023 14:20

UCR leader Gerardo Morales says he won't be part of a Massa-led government

Outgoing Jujuy Province Governor and Unión Cívica Radical leader distances himself from Sergio Massa and says he would not serve in a unity government led by economy minister.

Outgoing Jujuy Province Governor and Unión Cívica Radical leader Gerardo Morales has distanced himself from Sergio Massa and ruled out the chance of him joining a government led by the ruling coalition presidential candidate in the future.

Morales, 64, said he would not serve in a unity government led by Massa, should the economy minister win the November 19 run-off.

"The role people put us in is an opposition force. The people said: ‘You’re going to be the opposition.’ You can’t just run looking for positions all over the country,” Morales said during a radio interview on Thursday.

The politician from Jujuy, together with national senator and UCR vice-chair Martín Lousteau, has been the main spokesman for the 100-year-old UCR, one of the leading partners in the opposition coalition. 

Juntos por el Cambio is currently in disarray after Mauricio Macri and Patricia Bullrich – two leaders from PRO, the alliance's other main party – announced publicly they would back libertarian lawmaker Javier Milei over Massa in the election's second round. 

Most UCR leaders have not publicly declared a position, preferring to criticise both candidates as "bad for the country."

Morales, who has not stated who he will vote for in next week's run-off, said Massa's stated ambition to lead "a government of national unity" could be successful but that it should be materialised in Congress.

“If there’s a change in attitude by the Government to leave 'la grieta' [polarisation] behind, we need a constructive opposition, with the strength and capacity to set limits," said the Jujuy leader.

“If that country’s coming, it’ll be good for all us Argentines. We all have to do with that. First those who have to rule, who won’t be us, and those of us who are in the opposition, which is the case with Juntos por el Cambio”, he added.

 

Criticism of Milei

Earlier this week, Governor Morales reiterated his criticism of Milei, warning that a victory for the libertarian could lead to financial problems for provincial governments across the country. State employees, he warned, would not be able to be paid.

“If Milei wins, we won’t be able to pay the salaries of public servants in January, February, March and April, at least. He suggests doing away with the Federal Revenue Sharing Law, us governors from the North have an agreement with minister Massa to recoup the fall of Income Tax,” he stated to local media. 

In the same line, he elaborated: “He proposes to privatise public education and healthcare. Now he’s adjusting his discourse for electoral purposes, but they’re a part of a notion that is very far from the Argentine DNA. We have to very careful with a leap of faith."

The governor also remembered his peers in Argentina's north who have an agreement with Massa, “to recoup the fall in the income tax and VAT with a major percentage of the cheque tax."

According to Morales, Milei “betrays the government guidelines of Juntos por el Cambio.”

“He suggests that sons are owned by parents, that they can be sold, and there would be a child market. That’s the sale of organs, which is one of the biggest crimes, so if that’s proposed, one day they take your child and if they give it back to you it’ll be with one less kidney,” he pointed out.

“We can go backwards in very dangerous terms. You can always be worse and with Milei we can be worse. An emotionally imbalanced person would be a danger to all Argentines,” Morales stressed.

 

– TIMES/AFP

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