It has been said several times: it is not the same to put together a coalition to compete – and even win – in elections as it is to build a coalition to govern. Sometimes, in some countries, those two types of political arrangement become congruent, and politicians from diverse backgrounds who shared a ballot end up working together in the same government.
In Argentina, this congruence never happened, or never worked well. Cambiemos won several elections, but the government of Mauricio Macri was not a government of Cambiemos. The final decisions were made by Macri with a small group of trusted PRO officials. The Frente de Todos, which also presented itself as an agreement between different incarnations of Peronism, put together a government with such capricious forms that it became impossible for the President, or any other constituent, to make anything resembling a decision.
The new experiment is happening now and it is stumbling and varying its direction.
After the defeat in the general elections, and after several weeks of disagreements and mistrust, Mauricio Macri and Patricia Bullrich agreed on something: they both understood that the voters of Juntos por el Cambio were on their way to vote massively for Javier Milei and agreed to put themselves at the forefront of that trend and explicitly support the libertarian for the runoff. They were right. What they thought was going to happen, happened.
The problem is that Macri and Bullrich didn't have much more agreement than that original intuition. The former president does not want to integrate the PRO into a coalition with La Libertad Avanza to make a co-government and the former Minister of Security does want to participate in Milei's government and also arrive accompanied by a good number of her own officials to distribute in the different areas of the national administration.
What Macri proposed is to bring some PRO officials to Milei's government – basically in the second lines – and give the new president a base from Congress that he does not have today to promote laws and reforms with which the founder of the PRO always agreed.
Today, the possibility of Macri's wish coming true is far away. Milei delegated the formulation of political agreements to Guillermo Francos and the future interior minister is working to reduce Macri's influence in the new government as much as possible. For this reason, the plan to make Cristian Ritondo president of the Chamber of Deputies is about to be shipwrecked, and that shipwreck would also take away much of the enthusiasm that Macri put into the campaign for the second round.
This situation ended up further complicating the relationship between Bullrich and Macri. Bullrich has not trusted her former boss for some time and accuses him of operating to weaken her and impose decisions on her. Macri doesn't quite understand the reasons for that rage, and that bewilderment ended up transforming into anger as well. It is one of those occasions when political analysis falls short of explaining motivations that are best understood by drawing on categories from psychoanalysis or Greek mythology.