Tuesday, December 5, 2023

ARGENTINA | 14-11-2021 22:44

President Fernández calls for dialogue with opposition after election defeat

In a new way of acknowledging defeat, President Alberto Fernández broadcasts a recorded message from the Olivos presidential residence in which he calls for dialogue with the opposition.

President Alberto Fernández called for dialogue with the opposition late Sunday night, after initial results indicated his ruling Frente de Todos coalition had lost its Senate majority in crunch midterm legislative elections.

"We must prioritise national agreements if we want to resolve the challenges we face," Fernández said in a speech from the Olivos presidential residence, in which he called for "an opposition that is responsible and open to dialogue is a patriotic opposition".

The president called for "fruitful cooperation, for the general interest of the country."

Sunday's vote, with a turnout of more than 71 percent from an electorate of more than 34 million voters, partially renewed the lower house Chamber of Deputies and Senate. 

The centre-right Juntos por el Cambio opposition coalition of former president Mauricio Macri is on track to strip the government of its majority in the upper house.

According to the projections, the ruling Peronist coalition, led by President Fernández and Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, will lose its Senate majority for the first time since the return of democracy in 1983.

In his 12-minute address to the nation, delivered before he arrived at the ruling coalition’s bunker, the president also said that he would send a bill to Congress seeking to agree an economic programme over multiple years.

"I want to announce that, in the first week of December of this year, we will send to Congress a bill that makes explicit the multi-year economic programme for sustainable development. That programme will contemplate the best understandings that our government has reached with the IMF staff," he declared.

He warned, however, that the bill would not “renounce the principles of economic growth and social inclusion."

The president said that with the passing of the election, a “new stage” of his government had begun.

"In this new stage we will deepen our efforts to reach a sustainable agreement with the IMF. We must clear up the uncertainties that come with unsustainable debts like this one," he said, again criticising the “damage” caused by his predecessor Mauricio Macri’s 2015-2019 government.

Seeking to head off remarks regarding the position of his vice-president, Fernández said that the move is a “political decision” that had the “full support” of his entire coalition.

“It has been the result of joint work with the Vice-President of the Nation [Cristina Fernández de Kirchner], the President of the Chamber of Deputies [Sergio Massa] and my Cabinet of ministers."



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