Buenos Aires Times

argentina ELECTION 2019

Fernández de Kirchner sparks renewed speculation with PJ National Council visit

The presence of the Unidad Ciudadana leader, who has not officially declared her candidacy for this year's election in October, will spark renewed speculation over a presidential run.

Tuesday 14 May, 2019
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and PJ leaders pose for a photograph after a meeting of the Justicialist Party's National Council.
Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and PJ leaders pose for a photograph after a meeting of the Justicialist Party's National Council. Foto:NA

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Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner met with the national leadership of the Justicialist Party (PJ) this afternoon, returning to an extended meeting of the party's National Council and Committee for Political Action for the first time in more than a decade.

The presence of the Unidad Ciudadana leader, who has not officially declared her candidacy for this year's election in October, will spark renewed speculation over a presidential run. It was her first appearance at the PJ's headquarters since 2003, when her late husband Néstor Kirchner took office as president in the midst of the economic crisis.

Fernández de Kirchner said she was making herself "available" to the group, which she described as a "patriotic front."

After the meeting, PJ President José Luis Gioja told the press the ex-head of state "would be a good candidate" to run against President Mauricio Macri.

"We had a very pleasant visit from the former president of the nation, who wanted to come and talk with the national leadership, and we listened to the former compañera, whom we have never doubted," he said.

Highlighting that the Fernández de Kirchner had attended a summit with governors, PJ leaders and movers and shakers, Gioja reiterated a call for Peronist leaders to unite under the same slate of candidates. He emphasised too that the senator for Buenos Aires Province had not decided whether to run yet said the PJ would decide candidates before the end of the month.

Speaking at a press conference at the PJ's headquarters on Matheu street, Gioja said he did not know "if compañera Cristina Kirchner is going to be a candidate, but I do know that she will have a central role."

He added: "There are compañeros who want to participate and if others who have the right to participate appear, this right will not be denied."

Gioja said their political grouping needed "clear rules." 

He confirmed the front they are building together with Unidad Ciudadana and other spaces would formally be formed before the end of the month.

"We have defined that this party is going to be the opposition patriotic front and it must be decided before the end of May," said the former governor of San Juan Province. "Before the end of May we will be in a position to decide the front."

- TIMES/NA

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