Monday, May 27, 2024

ARGENTINA | 03-05-2024 18:03

Government pushes ahead with omnibus bill, ramps up 'Pacto de Mayo' preparations

Optimism reigns in the libertarian administration; President Milei says only "supporters" and those who back the new bill will be eligible to sign his 'Pacto de 25 de Mayo' in Córdoba next month.

President Javier Milei’s government is working to firm up the numbers it needs in the Senate for the approval of its sweeping ‘Ley de Bases’ reform bill and accompanying fiscal package.

Officials are keen to tie up the loose ends as soon as possible, while it moves ahead in parallel with preparations for Milei’s proposed ‘Pacto de 25 de Mayo,’ an accord outlining economic ground rules that it will present at an event in Córdoba on the national holiday marking the 1810 revolution.

The condition for becoming a signatory to the governance pact, which will be signed in the afternoon at Córdoba’s courthouse, is support for the bills in Congress. Milei has specified in public that the ten points established will not be signed by all 23 provincial governors and the mayor of the federal capital, but by “supporters.”

As a gesture, the Government plans to decorate any supporting governors with the Orden de Mayo, a distinction normally given only to foreigners but which Milei is willing to award to local politicians by a government decree. 


Complex outlook

As he vies for votes, Interior Minister Guillermo Francos is focusing his efforts on numbers, but there is a complex outlook in the Upper House. 

The opposition Unión por la Patria bloc has 33 out of 72 senators, and thus only four are needed for quorum, which forces the ruling party to gain supporters among the remaining 32 senators. 

Legislators answering to Axel Kicillof (Buenos Aires Province), Gustavo Mella (Tierra del Fuego), Gildo Insfrán (Formosa), Ricardo Quintela (La Rioja) and Sergio Ziliotto (La Pampa) are seen to be no hopers.

On Friday, Francos met with Tucumán Province Governor Osvaldo Jaldo, one of the few Peronists provincial leaders who has said they will back the pact. He has three senators, but only one is likely to follow his line.

Catamarca’s Raúl Jalil has recently met with Economy minister Luis ‘Toto’ Caputo, who has said “it’s very important for the law to be approved by the Senate.”

Despite those words, Catamarca Senator Lucía Corpacci has already revealed that she would not support the bill.

Assured votes?

Inside the Casa Rosada, there is talk that they may win support from Misiones. The region’s deputies voted in favour of the law in the lower house.

Santiago del Estero is one of the most complex regions to read. Even though Francos has spoken with Gerardo Zamora, and even travelled to visit him, backing is still not guaranteed. 

The same goes for Santa Cruz. Governor Claudio Vidal has warned that without extra resources for his province, he would not support the law or the pact. 

Córdoba’s Martín Llaryora, in turn, has anticipated his “commitment” and spoke of the “importance” of providing President Milei with the tools needed, in tune with pronouncements from provincial leaders that form part of the Juntos por el Cambio coalition.

Even though a complex task lies ahead, optimism reigns at Casa Rosada.


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