Wednesday, May 29, 2024

ARGENTINA | 06-11-2023 12:14

Cristian Ritondo: ‘In the run-off, Milei represents change – being neutral is not an option’

National lawmaker and head of the PRO lower house caucus says that Javier Milei is the only option that represents change in the November 19 run-off and calls on Argentina to rebuff Sergio Massa, a “part and central protagonist of this government.”

Why do you think people should vote for Milei? 

Because today, after the general elections, he represents the change that remains in the race in the run-off. We are at a turning point in history and I choose to be on the side of change. Argentina needs to leave behind this populist model that has brought us so much poverty and despair. That is why neutrality is not an option. In November we will be defining change or continuity, and I have no doubt that we have the opportunity to put an end to the Kirchnerism that has done us so much harm. Kirchnerism really can't be tolerated any longer. We don't have many more opportunities for change.


Don't you think there is a contradiction between Juntos por el Cambio's criticism of Milei and now supporting him?

They are two different moments. We have differences and we discussed them during the campaign. Of course our wish was to win with Patricia [Bullrich] and to be able to carry out the government programme we have been working on for all these years. But the reality is that it was not enough and the people gave more support to Milei. Today he represents the proposal for change as opposed to the continuity of Kirchnerism. Beyond the differences, we have many points of agreement that weigh heavily in our decision to support him. We have made this clear from day one. We will work to support those actions that we consider positive for the country and we will set limits on those we disagree with. We will always defend freedom, the national constitution, the division of powers, freedom of expression and we will be against any kind of populism, as we have done until now.


Shouldn't the support for Milei have been discussed among Juntos por el Cambio's leadership?

We discussed it among PRO leaders. We are a party that is part of a broader coalition. I think that this type of decision should be taken by each party, as we did, as did the UCR [Unión Cívica Radical] and the Coalición Cívica. In our case we decided to give freedom of action for each leader to express himself. An important group of PRO leaders such as Patricia, Mauricio [Macri], [Luciano] Laspina, [Hernán] Lombardi, [Néstor] Grindetti, and around 40 deputies, decided to make our support public.


Do you feel that Macri rushed giving his support?

No, not at all. I think how both Mauricio and Patricia acted was correct. It is a very short final stretch before the second round and I think it is important to be able to express quickly how we feel about this scenario.


What does Massa represent?

The continuity of this model, without a doubt. Because however much he tries to hide La Cámpora in his campaign, however much he tries not to put them on the stage, however much he tries to distance himself from his own government, he is a part and a central protagonist of this government. Massa's list was full of Kirchnerites. Not only is he part of this populist government, but he is one of its leaders, along with Cristina [Fernández de Kirchner], Alberto [Fernández] and Máximo Kirchner.


If Milei wins, will there be a co-government with PRO?

No. At no time was anything like that proposed. It is not about an agreement or an alliance or anything like that. It is about being able to leave Kirchnerism behind when we see that 65 percent of Argentines voted for alternatives of change in the voting room. We will support in Congress those initiatives that we believe are positive, that can leave behind this model of poverty and inflation. And we will be a clear limit on any attempt to trample the Republic.


Has the UCR closed a deal with Massa for positions?

It is a matter for them, and they should say so with complete honesty if it is true. Until now the UCR has been neutral. However, there are many leaders who share our vision of the need for change.

Ezequiel Spillman

Ezequiel Spillman

Editor de Política de Diario Perfil. Mail: [email protected]


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