Macri, back in campaign
Mauricio Macri will disembark in the national campaign with a key visit to Tucumán. He will be there this Tuesday to support the candidacy of the formula of Together for Change to the governorship, which integrates the radical Roberto Sánchez and the movable Germán Alfaro, today mayor of San Miguel de Tucumán and who comes from Peronism but who is a cadre of the opposition to the provincial government.
Tucumán votes on June 11 and is a laboratory as interesting or more interesting than Córdoba. The opposition formula has the support of all the national leaders of JxC. Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Patricia Bullrich have already been there, on Tuesday Macri goes, on Wednesday María Eugenia Vidal, then José Luis Espert will arrive and the weekend Bullrich and Larreta will return. The national opposition achieves in Tucumán the unity of all that it has not yet closed in any of the other districts of the Top Seven: the largest provinces in number of votes, and therefore decisive in any election.
Tucumán adds some delicatessen of the policy that must be addressed. First, he turned the Supreme Court into the protagonist of this electoral turn. The court challenged Juan Manzur's candidacy for lieutenant governor and forced the ruling party to replace him. In his place goes Miguel Acevedo, now provincial interior minister and one of those responsible for the management of funds of those who can move political wills -municipalities, etc.-.
The Court has another possibility pending to intervene in these elections, because there is a file that questions the date of June 11. According to the complainants, these elections should be held, according to current regulations, closer to the assumption of the authorities. "The election of authorities shall take place two months before the end of the term of office of the authorities in office," says art. 43° of the Provincial Constitution.
The new governor's inauguration date is October 29. Another detail is that Javier Milei, who challenges the big parties, is an ally of the candidacy of Ricardo Bussi and seems today far from repeating the performance of La Rioja, where his force got 15% of the votes from the hand of another emblematic surname, that of Menem. Just as it is a laboratory for the unity tests of the opposition of Cambiemos, it is also a test bed for the Milei project.
The reappearance of Macri in the national campaign – Tucumán belongs to that category because of the size of the district – occurs after a long weekend in which he met at length with Patricia Bullrich. For that reason, and because of bad weather, he suspended a trip to Cumelén where we imagined him in a previous column.
Now he rubs his hands because he has been told that this Monday Cristian Ritondo will make a consultation table with national legislators, from the province of Buenos Aires and mayors who are referenced in it, and will ask them what salt tastes like. "Patricia!" they will all answer in one. On Tuesday he will make a stage appearance to pronounce himself. In those hours the polls will have been filtered to resolve in the Capital if the only candidate will be cousin Jorge or Fernán Quirós. If it is the other Macri, with Ritondo it will be a week of jumps for Macri.
Having power, the first duty of the politician
They are dramas and clashes of forces that share the electorate with their adversaries. Complexities of the country with compulsory voting and that provides machinery that they fall in love with but that become unmanageable, like the HAL robot that drove the astronauts of "2001, A Space Odyssey" crazy.
That encabalgamiento of the electorates is what Macri, Scioli and Massa had a decade ago. The situation is simple: the electorate knows what it wants and leaders are torn between their need for support and their personal ambitions. What is good for them is not always good for the whole. They postpone the public for the private and, out of greed for power, live on the ledge.
The situation applies to Macri and Cristina, who decline in power within their forces, but who want to continue driving. Macri is powerful in CABA. No one can explain why he does not assume the candidacy for head of government, win the district by a wide margin, contribute to the best result of his party in the presidential election and keep that place without which his party can disappear.
If he finally imposes Jorge Macri, Martin Lousteau and the radicals can beat him. They will have the support of the entire Peronist arc that already supported Lousteau in 2015 in the runoff against Larreta. And that almost beat him. But it's taking risks. Better to see everything from Los Abrojos.
Cristina also cannot explain why she is not a candidate for governor of the district where she dominates, the province of Buenos Aires. It would prove that it is more than 30% that Peronism already has without it. But it's taking risks. Better to see everything from El Calafate. You have to look in the mirror of history. There are no disqualifying charges. The first duty of the politician is to have power. Jacques Chirac was mayor of Paris for 18 years and François Mitterrand was mayor of Château-Chinon for 22 years. And as he once said Duhalde_ "We are all mayors."
Ritondo and the domino effect
Ritondo's decision was expected since Macri placed Néstor Grindetti as candidate for governor to confront Diego Santilli. It triggers a domino effect that compromises PRO allies in the Province. Maxi Abad, head of the provincial radicalism and candidate for governor of Buenos Aires, promises to meet with all the leaders of the PRO – Macri, Larreta, etc. – demanding single lists in the district. He believes that, if that does not happen, Cambiemos could come third or fourth in the PASO, lose the elections in the province of Buenos Aires and compromise a victory in the presidential elections that seems served.
His gesture is read as an anti-Larretista pronouncement. Larreta believes Santilli is the best candidate of the force in Buenos Aires and the best support for his presidential candidacy. He doesn't lower it for anything. Abad says the gubernatorial ballot is sixth in the order of importance on the provincial sheet and does not affect the fate of any presidential candidate. The Larretismo responds that the single lists suit mayors and legislators who prefer not to take risks. He insists that in 2021 he won in the province of Buenos Aires due to the salutary effect of the PASO.
Larreta made a detailed scan of Cordoba between Friday night and last Saturday. He dined with Luis Juez and Rodrigo de Loredo and met with more people than they want to know, with the objective of another need of his force, which is the unity of the candidacies in that province, which has different dates and four elections between June and August: governor, mayor of the Capital, STEP, etc.
He has listened to emissaries of Juan Schiaretti for some arrangement in a front of fronts opposed to Christian Peronism. They have replied that they will not listen to anything until authorities have been elected in Córdoba. They reproach Schiaretti for offering them a rapprochement after having adjusted the dates of elections in Córdoba to their interests. That response has been heard by the schiarettistas also of Gerardo Morales, who needs like Larreta to expand the spectrum of his support to preserve competitiveness.
A respirator for Unasur
If he can't try on the president's suit, Sergio Massa at least uses the plane. Even before Alberto, who is sent by domestic plane to Brasilia. The president's delegation leaves this Monday for Brazil, where Lula manages to reunite the plenary of UNASUR. The initiative is to resurrect that third-party stamp that has been dormant since 2018, when some presidents of the conservative wing of the region tried to replace it with PROSUR.
The pendulum leads to it becoming an emblem of a new era, after the government of Ecuador removed the building that adorned a statue of Néstor Kirchner. He returned that bronze, which today is in the CCK, former Post Office, where he satisfies the passion of the Christianist for alienation and symbols, which politics uses to hide reality – as if that were possible. The presence of the president, who begins to lose dignity with the cession of the plane for Massa and the mendicant delegation to China, is surrounded by signs that go beyond the symbolic.
Scioli, offshore campaign
First, the host is both Lula and Daniel Scioli, the pre-candidate who does not hide chips and who has said that he will present himself however and against whoever. "I never heard Cristina say anything against the PASO or that she has a candidate," said the ambassador, the only speaker at a May 25 party in Brasilia with 1,300 guests, which resembled an "offshore" launch.
Scioli believes that the vice president will not play any chips and that she will let the debate on the candidacies flow. He also understands that the strip of names that filters Christianity responds to personal projects. He lets these projects run because he is looking for another audience: "I think the voter is going to go towards moderation, towards what I have always represented."
Nor is the former governor concerned about the minutiae of the primaries. The crafts prior to the PASO were left in the hands of Gildo Insfrán, president of the PJ Congress. He trusts that it will prevent sticks in the regulatory wheel, such as those that previously made candidates aborted due to lack of endorsements, etc. The music at the Sciolista party on the 25th in Brasilia was played by the group Tripa y Flor, a duo that performs covers of Argentine pop music. The name of this group to the Sciolist project is no small symbolic contribution.
A premium chair for Cristina
The other sign of that journey is towards Cristina. She has insisted she will not be a candidate for anything in October. There are those who point to her as a candidate for a new senate. There is time to decide, but those who have heard it in meetings with visitors from abroad – José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, for example – do not rule out seeking the protection of an international destination.
For example, the general secretariat of UNASUR (Union of South American Nations), a position that Néstor covered when this league of countries was launched, which has a president pro tempore -now vacant since the departure of Jair Bolsonaro-. Cristina can go to that position, which covers her with protocol precedences and allows her to continue in a remarkable position. UNASUR was left without a building and Cristina as secretary could bring the headquarters to Argentina.
One does not have to imagine much the usefulness that this stamp would have with any government that comes after October. If the current opposition wins, a UNASUR headquarters with Cristina in the secretariat would be an opposition headquarters. If a Peronist government comes, the shadow administration that Christianity has exercised from the Senate and the Instituto Patria could continue from there.
Multi-purpose global seals
The use of these international stamps is functional to domestic politics. The Macri government bled PARLASUR to take away its strength and prevent it from becoming a basic unit of opposition to his government. It did not recognize the salary of the legislators elected in 2015 and in 2019 it did not call for the renewal, despite the fact that the Justice ordered it. Nor did he want to reactivate UNASUR, to whose paralysis he contributed together with Sebastián Piñera, with the creation of the fleeting PROSUR (Forum for the Progress of South America, 2018).
The Fernández government sought since 2019 some way out through the Puebla Group, which captured the government of Mexico but has not gone beyond being another declamatory forum and justifier of travel expenses. Lula, who competes with López Obrador in the leadership of the region towards the rest of the world, now proposes to put a thumbs up to UNASUR. And if he finds a place there for Cristina, he will have fulfilled her for what he may owe her.
Another repeat governor
The Court gives for more. The Supreme Court has on the table two appeals that challenge the candidacy of Gildo Insfrán for a new term. Formosa's constitution has no restrictions on repeat governors. But the rulings that challenged the names of Juan Manzur and Sergio Uñac were not based on the reading of the constitutions of San Juan and Tucumán, but on the national Constitution.
Articles 1 and 5 of the Constitution, the Court argued, establish "the federal republican representative form" (1) and order that provincial constitutions must be issued "under the republican representative system" (5). The interpretation of these norms, say the two rulings on San Juan and Tucumán, must be carried out restrictively, "while the validity of the republican system enshrined in Articles 1 and 5 of the National Constitution presupposes the periodicity and renewal of the authorities."
The rush over the times. In Formosa the vote is held on June 25 and the opposition trusts that the Court will agree with them and also overturn Insfrán, who is the president of the PJ Congress and who has, according to the mandate of that party body, the signature to regulate the elections of the Frente de Todos.
Other protagonists of the plot are not so optimistic. Already in 2005 the Court, with another composition, rejected a challenge to the indefinite re-election of Insfrán, arguing that the court should not meddle in provincial matters. The electoral regime, he said, is not the original competence of the Court. The current prosecutor took the same view in the cases of San Juan and Tucumán, but this interpretation is not binding. The same thing has been said by the attorney general in this case of Formosa.
As the current Court seemed to revise the previous position on original jurisdiction, there is some hope in the opposition that it will now resort again to the national Constitution as the ordering of provincial constitutions, and defend the need to preserve the periodicity and renewal of authorities.
The difference in this case is that Formosa's appeals were filed directly with the Court, without the provincial courts being issued. This jump of instances – a procedural minutia that can overturn a castle – weakens the chances that the Court will change the fortunes of Insfrán. It's a matter of hours.