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ARGENTINA | 16-08-2023 15:45

Kicillof offers ruling coalition reason to be cheerful with PASO win

Grindetti rules out an electoral pact with La Libertad Avanza rival in Buenos Aires Province as primary boosts incumbent governor’s re-election hopes.

Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof provided a rare bright spot for Argentina’s ruling coalition as he emerged as the winner of last Sunday’s PASO provincial primary.

The Unión por la Patria candidate had won 36.41 of the vote with almost all precincts reporting. Nevertheless, speaking from the ruling coalition’s bunker in Chacarita on election night, the governor urged "prudence when interpreting tonight’s results; society was only invited to pick its candidates today."

"We are not satisfied," remarked Kicillof, referring to his three-point margin over the opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition’s cumulative total.

For the opposition, Néstor Grindetti was confirmed as its gubernatorial candidate, another boost for Patricia Bullrich, who won the coalition’s battle for a presidential nomination.

Grindetti, the two-term mayor of Lanús until this year, edged Diego Santilli for the Juntos por el Cambio gubernatorial candidacy. With almost all precincts reporting, he had garnered 16.59 percent of the vote as against 16.37 percent for his rival.

La Libertad Avanza finished in third place with 23.76 percent of the vote for Carolina Píparo, while the only other slate to clear the 1.5 percent threshold for participation in the October general elections was Frente de Izquierda y de Trabajadores-Unidad with 3.57 percent, where veteran trade unionist Rubén ‘Pollo’ Sobrero outvoted Alejandro Bodart.

No less than 859,867 voters opted to cast blank ballots.

Mayoral voting in Greater Buenos Aires included such upsets as the defeats of ex-minister Juan Zabaleta in Hurlingham and Unión por la Patria presidential candidate Sergio Massa’s wife Malena Galmarini in Tigre while La Libertad Avanza performed strongly on the coat-tails of Javier Milei without taking over town halls.

 

No deal

On Tuesday Grindetti ruled out any electoral agreement with his La Libertad Avanza rival, remarking that his opposition alliance has "reasonable, concrete and feasible plans."

"Today any agreement between alliances is factually impossible but I believe that any agreement which can be made has to come after the election," maintained the Lanús mayor on leave.

In dialogue with Karin Cohen’s El Día Menos Pensado radio programme on Splendid-AM 990, the PRO leader explained that if Juntos por el Cambio reached government, it would need parliamentary agreements to advance in reforms.

"It is at the parliamentary stage that we might have an agreement to move ahead but now is not the moment," he explained.

Píparo meanwhile affirmed that the support for Javier Milei was not a "voto bronca" protest but a vote of "hope."

"It’s wrong to define the vote for Javier as a voto bronca protest because that is underestimating the voter. Voto bronca is when you rip up the paper or stick a piece of salami in the ballot-box. For many people backlash took the form of not going out to vote and that’s fine and understandable. Voting for Javier is a vote of hope, that’s what I believe," Píparo told Splendid 990.

The libertarian hopeful finished second behind Kicillof as the individual candidate with the most votes in Buenos Aires Province while her libertarian leader topped the PASO primary as the presidential candidate with the most votes nationwide, ahead of both Juntos por el Cambio and Unión por la Patria.

Along these lines the deputy maintained: "I believe that we have huge possibilities of winning the Province. If another candidate is finally elected, the people’s choice must be respected. That includes joining somebody to beat somebody else. Everybody has their own ideas and must present them."

 

– TIMES/NA/PERFIL

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