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ARGENTINA | 30-05-2023 17:45

Jorge Macri chosen as PRO mayoral candidate in City

Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta confirmed that Jorge Macri will be PRO's solo candidate in Buenos Aires City; Ex-Vicente López leader outperforms Fernán Quirós in polling.

Jorge Macri, the cousin of former president Mauricio Macri, will stand as the PRO party’s only candidate in the race to be the next mayor of Buenos Aires City.

The decision, announced by current Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta on Tuesday, comes after the centre-right party commissioned polling to determine its candidate. 

Jorge Macri outperformed party rival City Health Minister Fernán Quirós in three voting intention surveys (conducted by the Isonomía, Aresco and Trespuntozero consultancy firms) and will now be given the chance to follow in the footsteps of his cousin, who served two terms as City Hall head from 2007 to 2015.

The decision is an attempt to unify PRO’s vote in the capital for the opposition coalition’s primary election scheduled for August 13, which will define candidates for the local election. Juntos por el Cambio will put up at least three tickets in the PASO, composed of candidates from PRO and others from its coalition partners, the Uniòn Civic Radical (UCR) and Coalición Cívica – ARI.

PRO wants to retain control of the capital, which it has ruled for the last 16 years. The main challenge to the opposition’s nomination will come from UCR hopeful Senator Martín Lousteau, who performed well in the 2015 election and has a unified party behind him.

Limiting its ticket to one candidate will give PRO the chance of emerging with the most voted-for slate in the primaries. The decision to synthesise differences and unite behind a single figure was agreed by the party’s presidential hopefuls, Rodríguez Larreta and former security minister Patricia Bullrich, in an attempt to lower internal tensions.

Mauricio Macri was a strong supporter of his cousin's candidacy. 

Jorge Macri, 58, is currently on leave from his post as mayor of Vicente López, a municipality on the outskirts of the capital in Greater Buenos Aires. Last year he took on the City Hall role of government minister to gain a stronger foothold in the local government.

He has faced criticism for that decision, with some opponents vowing to challenge his run for the mayoral office and questioning if he meets the legal requirements to hold the role.

Rodríguez Larreta, who is running for the Presidency, said that the decision to select Macri as PRO’s candidate had not been taken quickly and that his “ample capabilities, vision and management skills” made him suitable for the role.

"We have decided that to guarantee the continuity of all the changes we have carried out in the city and to work for all the challenges still to be achieved, Jorge will be PRO’s candidate," said the mayor in a post on Twitter.

"I want to express my full support for Jorge. I trust him and I am sure that he will do everything to live up to the legacy started by Mauricio in 2007 and which I have had the honour of continuing since 2015.” he added.

Rodríguez Larreta went on to praise Quirós’ “potential,” describing him as “a tireless worker and a defender of the integral wellbeing of people."

The health minister, whose reputation was enhanced by his handling of the coronavirus pandemic in the capital, had won praise from Coaliciòn Cívica-ARI leader Elisa ‘Lilita’ Carrió.

Bullrich hailed the choice of Jorge Macri in her own post on Twitter. "Congratulations, Jorge. I told you a long time ago. It was you. People want to continue the work started years ago by the PRO. Now, the polls ratify it," wrote the former government official.

From the other side of the aisle, Frente de Todos candidate Leandro Santoro shared a more cynical view: "I salute the current mayor of Vicente López and cousin of former president Macri for his designation as PRO's sole candidate for head of the Buenos Aires government. His designation (as long as the courts authorise it) clarifies the models of the city that will be debated in these elections.”



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