President Alberto Fernández vowed to keep his broad ruling coalition unified on Thursday a day after several cabinet ministers offered to quit.
“Now isn’t the time to raise disputes that derail us,” the Peronist leader said in a Twitter thread, adding he’ll “continue guaranteeing the unity” of his alliance, Frente de Todos.
Fernández is battling a political crisis after the coalition’s damaging loss in a midterm primary vote on Sunday. Several ministers closely allied to Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who governed the nation from 2007 to 2015, offered to resign on Wednesday.
Fernández de Kirchner hasn’t commented since the election defeat Sunday. The aftermath has laid bare the coalition’s internal divide between Fernández’s moderate wing and Fernández de Kirchner’s more radical supporters ahead of congressional elections in November.
Fernanda Vallejos, a lawmaker aligned with Kirchner, inadvertently revealed how the vice-president’s camp feels about Fernández in a profanity-laden audio message.
Vallejos, who apologised Thursday for the post-election audio getting leaked to the press, lambasted Fernández as a hypocrite, labelled Cabinet Chief Santiago Cafiero “a joker,” and insisted Economy Minister Martín Guzmán should have resigned.
Fernández “is a squatter because he doesn’t have any votes, he doesn’t have legitimacy,” Vallejos said in the leaked voice message. “Cristina represents the voice of the Argentine people – the people speak from her mouth, not from Alberto’s.”