Outgoing Mendoza Governor and deputy-elect Alfredo Cornejo is set to stay on as Radical (UCR) party chairman, following a telephone conversation with his Jujuy colleague Gerardo Morales.
However, that does not mean Cornejo will abandon his ambitions to be the future opposition leader in Congress, party sources told the Noticias Argentinas news agency.
In the light of those ambitions Morales had been contemplating moving into the chairmanship himself when the party authorities are renewed next month, leaving Cornejo free to concentrate on seeking to head the Radical lower house caucus. But according to Jujuy provincial government sources consulted by NA, Morales now favours giving priority to running his province.
Cornejo’s path to Radical caucus leadership will be no walkover – it is being resisted by the current leader, Córdoba deputy Mario Negri, who enjoys the confidence of most of his parliamentary colleagues. Cornejo is backed by his own province of Mendoza, while Negri’s Córdoba rivals headed by Ramón Mestre and the Federal Capital Radicals aligned with former Interior minister Enrique "Coti" Nosiglia and senator-elect Martín Lousteau, the latter aspiring to head the Senate Radical caucus.
The Mendoza governor can only count on 13 of the 47 Radicals in the next House. One alternative could be to leave Negri in charge of the Radical caucus and go one step further to head the 120 Juntos por el Cambio deputies.
Quite apart from electing party authorities, next month’s Radical convention will decide whether to remain in the coalition currently headed by outgoing President Mauricio Macri and if so, under the same conditions as in Cambiemos over the last four years.
In the light of the tensions over the various leaderships, party authorities are contemplating postponing the convention from December 12 to March, reports suggest.