Senator Esteban Bullrich gave an emotional farewell speech after confirming his resignation due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), calling for unity and seeking consensus among his colleagues, who gave him a standing ovation.
Bullrich was the first to speak after the new senators had been sworn in to announce his resignation as the protagonist of the day’s most emotional moment, thanking the senators who have accompanied him in the months since receiving his medical diagnosis.
"Nothing that I am indicates to me that this is the path I want to follow but the public interest goes above personal interests," said the senator, speaking via a computer due to the difficulties caused by ALS.
Moved to tears, Bullrich affirmed that being part of the Senate was "one of the greatest and most challenging honours" of his life, remarking: "I will continue seeking a better country for my children."
As his last activity, he presented a bill for "inclusive education" which went straight to the House floor with the support of all senators across the party spectrum, after which he highlighted: "This bill doesn’t belong to anybody but to everybody because in politics good ideas do not have owners, they have beneficiaries.".
"Many more things unite us than divide us, we only need to listen to each other," said Bullrich, who asked that his time in the Senate be remembered for "a constant quest for consensus via diálogue" while underlining: "Adversaries are never enemies."
"We live in a country geared to the grieta rift and violent debate, a country in which we push people not to exercise the highest role of a democracy, the role of citizen. I leave in calm because here there are many leaders with the vocation to construct a better country," he said.
In the same sense, Bullrich affirmed that Argentina "clamours for consensos" to confront problems like "poverty and the young people leaving the country," underlining: "We politicians are the culprits for stagnation, not the Argentines. We have all been guilty of governing with our ears blocked. There is no more time for us to go playing around and not reach agreement."