Jujuy Province's Radical Governor Gerardo Morales registered a huge landslide win last Sunday with relatively few votes – his Cambia Jujuy list finished almost 30 percent ahead of the Frente de Todos national ruling coalition in the provincial legislative and municipal elections.
With 98.39 percent of the vote counted, the Cambia Jujuy list headed by Omar Gutiérrez had won 41.69 percent of the vote as against a mere 13.45 percent for the Frente de Todos candidates topped by Pedro Belizán while third place went to the Frente de Izquierda leftists with 7.53 percent. Three voters out of every eight thus opted for independent and/or neighbourhood candidates in highly fragmented voting.
Unlike the Misiones provincial elections early last month (won by the locally governing neo-Peronist alliance), the Jujuy result has a nationwide projection with Morales emboldened to say that the convincing victory “made me think that there could be a Radical presidential candidate (representing the Juntos por el Cambio opposition coalition in 2023).”
Expanding on that subject, he named neurosurgeon Facundo Manes and Senator Martín Lousteau (in that order) as potential presidential candidates, saying that it would be an honour to be the running-mate of either. Morales defended Manes from the criticisms of Civic Coalition leader Elisa Carrió (who last weekend accused the political newcomer of “wanting to arrive in the Casa Rosada without knowing anything about politics”), saying: "Lilita should lower a gear and not be so aggressive."
Morales further plugged last Sunday’s triumph as showing that "the Radicals have territory and the capacity to govern and reach agreements.” He also forecast that there would be a Juntos por el Cambio primary in Buenos Aires Province, proposing that the Radicals should have outreach to leaders like Margarita Stolbizer and Emilio Monzó.
On the local front the governor commented: "I would like to congratulate all our candidates for all their efforts, as well as thanking the people for ratifying their confidence in our government. We’re going to have more provincial legislators and more town halls. This gives us a greater responsibility to continue transforming Jujuy … This result says no to violence."
The Cambia Jujuy triumph promptly received the congratulations of the two politicians chairing the two main parties of the Juntos por el Cambio coalition, Patricia Bullrich (PRO) and Alfredo Cornejo (Radical), with the latter including Governor Morales by name in his congratulations.
The turnout in Sunday’s elections was around 65 percent of the Jujuy electorate of 570,879 with the strict protocols against the coronavirus pandemic and bitterly cold winter both discouraging participation. At stake were 24 of the 48 seats in the provincial Chamber of Deputies and half the municipal councillors in the 26 districts.