Wednesday, January 26, 2022

ARGENTINA | 20-07-2019 08:02

Pink House swoops on unaffiliated governors as PASOs loom

The first major electoral test for national candidates in 2019 is August 11 when Argentina goes to the polls for a primaries vote.

The Mauricio Macri campaign is courting "unaffiliated" provincial governors in an attempt to shore up support for the president ahead of the PASOs primaries race on August 11.

The leading Peronist candidate for the Pink House in October, Alberto Fernández, has almost half of the country's governors behind him.

Last week, the Macri camp was able to secure photo opportunities with San Luis governor Adolfo Rodríguez Saá and outgoing Río Negro governor Alberto Weretilneck, in the hope of turning the tide against a Peronist resurgence in the provinces.

In elections so far this year, Peronist candidates have retained Córdoba province and regained Santa Fe provinces, the country's two largest after Buenos Aires province.

The Pink House wants more governors to drop the Peronist candidates Alberto Fernández and his running mate Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner from their respective ballot papers. 

Most provinces have split their regional elections from the national ones, apparently in an effort to mitigate any damage the national race could have on their own chances. For some, the return of ex president Fernández de Kirchner and her former Cabinet chief Alberto Fernández to the Pink House could throw a cold towel on their own presidential dreams.

"There are governors who have been better off under Macri than Cristina. They had more money and, what's more, if Alberto wins he could want re-election which would ruin their chances of competing in 2023", one source inside the Pink House told Perfil.

Recent calculations by the Macri campaign team indicate that just 8.7 percent of the electorate live in provinces where the governor has an agreement and is actively campaigning in favour of the Fernández-Fernández ticket. The largest province of such is Tucumán.

Another 16.7 percent of the electorate lives in provinces where there is a political agreement but no formal electoral commitment: Santa Fe, Entre Ríos and Chaco are the largest.

In the case of Santa Fe, incoming governor Omar Perotti has publicly supported Alberto Fernández, though Macri's running mate Miguel Angel Pichetto is allegedly pushing for a summit between the two men in the coming weeks.

Provinces in which governors will not include a presidential pairing on their regional ballots include Misiones and Córdoba, and represent 18.4 percent of the electorate. 

Fourteen governors have expressed support for the Fernández-Fernández ticket. Six will apparently run a half ballot, meaning their candidates will run without Fernández-Fernández on the ticket, including Córdoba and several Patagonian provinces.

Meanwhile, five provinces with Macri-alligned governors will support Macri-Pichetto; and just one, Salta, will back the ballot of Roberto Lavagna and the Governor of Salta Juan Manuel Urtubey as his running mate.


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