Alberto Fernández said Wednesday that he does not have plans to meet President Mauricio Macri any time soon, despite a strong performance during Sunday's primaries vote that will likely see Fernández take power from the sitting head of state in December.
"I think it's good that the government attempts to free fuel and food prices but I do think the measures are too little, too late, and do not consider the broader consequences. I will help as much as I can, but the president must govern", Fernández told El Destape radio.
"It's like the Heavenly Father that Atheists turn to before they die, there's no point", he added.
Macri on Wednesday unveiled a raft of measures including a 90-day prize freeze on fuel costing 40 billion pesos (US$720 million). His Labour Secretary Dante Sica also confirmed he would summon the country's wage council to look at raising the minimum wage.
In a somber televised message from Olivos presidential palace, Macri insisted that he "understood" the difficulties facing Argentines and taking steps to help "alleviate" their economic pain.
For his part, Fernández claimed the "President is in a difficult situation and I understand it, but it's clear that he himself is not convinced about what he's doing and now his role as president should take priority over his position as a candidate".
Fernández emerged with a 15-point lead over the incumbent from Sunday's vote, deeply complicating the Macri's chances of winning re-election.
Macri "needed two thirds of the country voted against him for him to realise what he'd done. What he's doing is for electoral purposes and not of conviction", he claimed.
"It makes no sense for us to meet because we have different visions for the country. I beg that, given the gravity of the situation, his role as president takes priority, that he governs and in this sense, please know that I'm going to help", Fernández insisted.
On Wednesday, Macri said he "deeply respects the Argentines who voted for other alternatives" in Sunday's PASOs, assuring voters he "understood the result of the election".