Sunday, July 21, 2024

ARGENTINA | 07-08-2023 14:39

Ruling coalition ramps up rhetoric as primaries draw closer

Alberto Fernández slams lack of proposals from opposition presidential candidates on Sunday as ruling coalition leaders ramp up rhetoric ahead of the PASOs.

Alberto Fernández slammed the lack of proposals from opposition presidential candidates on Sunday as the ruling coalition ramped up its rhetoric ahead of next weekend’s primary elections.

Argentina’s president delivered the remarks in a series of video posts on Instagram and X, the social network previously known as Twitter, as he took questions from followers.

Fernández, who is not seeking re-election in this year’s elections said he had taken to social media to “clarify” doubts about his government, the ruling coalition and the country’s relationship with multilateral lending agencies.

Responding to one user, he said he hadn’t seen “any proposals” from the opposition’s presidential hopefuls.

Speaking a week before voters go to the polls for crucial primaries that will define the candidates for the nation’s next president, the veteran Peronist said that he wanted to “analyse” the last four years of his government that took power in 2019 and will end in December.

"What doubts do you have? Let's see if I can clear them up," explained the president, who answered questions dressed in a suit and tie while sat in a garden with his dog Dylan.

Taking aim at the rival Juntos por el Cambio coalition, Fernández accused their candidates of seeking to “advertise” their ambitions by using successes from his administration, citing advances in tourism, business and even an improvement in the infant mortality rate. 

The ruling coalition’s main candidate, Economy Minister Sergio Massa, goes into the PASO primaries facing a backdrop of annualised inflation at 115 percent and with poverty affecting more than 40 percent of the nation’s 45 million inhabitants.

Fernández went on to criticise the multilateral lending agencies for the debt "surcharges and abuse," against which he said his government had "raised its voice.”

He also slammed his predecessor in office, Mauricio Macri, almost four years after succeeding him in power, claiming the Juntos por el Cambio leader had "embraced" then-US president Donald Trump and taken on US$45 billion in debt from the International Monetary Fund.

In the video posts, Fernández also paid tribute to his faithful dog Dylan, who he described as his "best friend.”

"I love him very much, he is a great friend, a great companion, he is always close by," he said after kissing the collie.

The 64-year-old head of state has decided not to run for re-election and, up until now, has not participated much in the electoral campaign.

Massa himself also took to the airwaves on Monday morning, seeking to push his presidential hopes with renewed criticism of the opposition.

Highlighting the impact of the IMF debt contracted in 2018 by the Macri administration, Massa decried the impact of the "biggest loan in the history of the Fund at a global level. 

"Not even Ukraine was given that kind of money for the war, he announced it in a minute and a half and left us tied up for 13 years," said the official.



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