President Alberto Fernández announced Tuesday that national deputy Germán Martínez would succeed Máximo Kirchner as the head of the ruling coalition’s caucus following the latter’s stormy resignation.
"Today I received Germán Martínez, the new Frente de Todos caucus chief. His commitment and track record are very valuable for deepening consensus and working towards laws which improve Argentine lives," declared the president in a post on social media.
Mentioning the son of the vice-president in that connection, he added: "I have asked him to deepen the enormous work done by Máximo, work for which I am very grateful and which I know will continue."
The announcement was made after the Frente de Todos leader met with Congress Speaker Sergio Massa at the Olivos presidential residence.
Martínez, 46, entered the Chamber of Deputies in 2019 and is currently the deputy chairman of the Defence Committee.
His nomination to head the caucus met with surprise, given that his political boss is former defence minister Agustín Rossi, who resigned from the Cabinet some months ago. The former Cabinet official has remained in contact with President Fernández, however.
Even without any direct presidential or vice-presidential links, Martínez was one of the names recently singled out in light of the president’s desire to have an inland deputy heading the caucus.
A political science graduate, the lawmaker defines himself as "Kirchnerite and Peronist, without any contradiction" and is aligned with the Corriente Nacional de la Militancia, a Kirchnerite grouping headed by Rossi in Rosario which also includes figures like Ministers Jorge Taiana (Defence) and Daniel Filmus (Science).
One of the deputies to come out in support of the government after the announcement of the understanding with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Martínez did not dodge the “differences” within the ruling coalition.
"Every day, every decision, is a stumbling-block on the long road to political sovereignty, economic independence and social justice. Step by step, we’re going to come out of the hell of mega-debt and unpayable timetables," the deputy wrote on his social media accounts.
“Within Frente de Todos we might have our shades of difference over the agreement with the IMF but we agree 100 percent over the disaster of Macri’s debt and the horrible payment timetable they signed,” he added, assuring: “The differences are with those who created the problem and not between those seeking to solve it.”
Congressional sources said that Martínez has “good links with all the sectors of our space – Massa supporters, Kirchnerites and governors. It’s what we need right now.”
Nevertheless, sources who had knowledge of the talks explained that both President Fernández and Speaker Massa know that “it will be a testimonial post” as “the power of the caucus will continue to be concentrated in Máximo Kirchner.”