The Frente de Todos opposition grouping ended its campaign for the PASOs on Thursday with dual events, indicating the complications that face the Kirchnerite alliance.
While presidential hopeful Alberto Fernández held a final rally in Córdoba, a key battleground in this Sunday’s vote, former president and vice-presidential candidate Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Buenos Aires Province gubernational hopeful Axel Kicillof were in Merlo, Greater Buenos Aires, packing out a large hall.
The split, in many ways, was understandable. Fernández de Kirchner remains unpopular in most of Córdoba Province following a row with agricultural producers during her time as president, while Kicillof is hoping a strong performance in the country’s most-populous region will help him oust María Eugenia Vidal come October.
Hoping to bridge the gap between him and President Mauricio Macri in a province crucial to Sunday’s vote, Fernández promised Córdoba that he would “integrate itself into the project of a country that everyone wants.”
“All know of my porteño condition,” Fernández said, using the nickname for inhabitants of Buenos Aires City. “But I should be more federal than los porteños, and for this I don’t live in peace if the centre lives well because it is not just and equilibrated for all.”
Taking aim at Macri, the Kirchnerite candidate chastised the sitting president for statements Macri once made on how he would combat inflation.
“They said ‘We’re going to do the same, but faster.’ This phrase is an invitation to take off and skip to the precipice. It gave me despair.”
Addressing the citizens of Córdoba, which had a contentious relationship with his running mate’s government, Fernández committed to revitalising the province.
“We need Córdoba to also be the motor of change,” Fernández said. “We’re going to give los cordobeses the place that they deserve. This Sunday I ask you to accompany me to begin constructing an Argentina that everyone deserves.”
At the sister event in the province, Kicillof, a former economy minister in the Fernandez de Kirchner government, offered a harsh condemnation of the economic policies of Vidal’s administration.
“One knows that much of the province’s problems came before,” Kicilof told the crowd. “But it’s certain where there had been one problem, after Macri and Vidal, there are now three, four, five problems. They have solved absolutely nothing.”
Fernández de Kirchner commended the campaign style of Kicillof, who instead of holding massive campaign rallies has traversed the province by car, travelling to Cañuelas, Chivilcoy, San Andrés de Giles and Merlo just on Thursday.
“I have never seen a campaign for governor like the one completed by Axel Kicillof,” the former president said. “This is the campaign of David and Goliath.”
“We go by car while others go by helicopter,” Kicillof said, a swipe at Vidal. “In a helicopter you aren’t able to see what is happening in the province.”
On Wednesday, the Frente de Todos had held a final joint campaign rally in Rosario, where Fernández appeared with his running-mate for the first time since May.
Earlier in the day, the pre-candidate for the presidency signed an agreement with all the Peronist provincial governors of the country with a vow to coordinate regional economic development.
“Don’t ask them where they came from,” Fernández said of his opponents at the Wednesday night rally in Rosario. “Ask them where they want to go.”