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ARGENTINA | 12-08-2019 09:37

Kicillof tells Government to 'act with responsibility,' as officials huddle at Casa Rosada

Government officials meet at Casa Rosada, as Fernández and Kicillof hail Frente de Todos coalition's performance in PASO primaries.

Frente de Todos gubernatorial candidate Axel Kicillof this morning called on the national government to "act with a lot of responsibility," in the face of yesterday's landslide loss in the PASO primaries.

Opposition presidential hopeful Alberto Fernández scored a huge victory in Sunday's primary election, emerging with a 15-point lead over President Mauricio Macri. Taking 47 percent of the vote nationwide, compared to Macri's 32 percent, Fernández is now the huge favourite to emerge victorious in October's presidential election, paving the way for another Peronist president.

In comments to the press at the front door of his house Kicillof – the former economy minister who is running for governor of Buenos Aires Province – said the opposition coalition had welcomed the result "with much joy and gratitude," celebrating that Argentina had voted "for a different province and for a government that will deal with chaging priorities."

"No poll anticipated such a wide margin," he admitted, saying that Frente de Todos were "already thinking about the next stage."

Kicillof devlivered a particularly notable victory in Buenos Aires Province, the country's most-populous region, taking almost 50 percent of the vote. Incumbent governor María Eugenia Vidal trailed with 32.67 percent, compared to Kicillof's 49.25 percent.

The Peronist-Kirchnerite candidate said Frente de Todos had appealed to voters in the province because "the great majority of bonaerenses want work, production, education and health for everyone and that is what this election indicates." 

Kicillof, a close ally of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, declared that that "the province has a lot of potential" and stressed that – should he win election in –  "the priorities will be very clear because people tell me that there is no work, that there is no credit for the productive [industries], that shopkellers have great difficulties."

"The governor must deal with these issues," he added.

Kicillof accused the current government of "refusing to assume responsibility," and called on the Macri administration to now "act with a lot of responsibility,"

"Today we present ourselves to society, not to the markets. The government from here to December has the responsibility, we hope it gives answers," he concluded.

Government huddles at Casa Rosada

President Mauricio Macri huddled with a small team at the Casa Rosada this morning, as Juntos por el Cambio sought to work out their next steps.

The president arrived at the Casa Rosada by helicopter early this morning, a few minutes after Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña and Central Bank President Guido Sandleris.

Macri bet with both almost immediately after arriving, according to reports, with Finance Minister Nicolás Dujovne joining them to analyze how markets would react to the Government's defeat in the PASOs. 

The prresident will host a Cabinet meeting at around 10.30am, Government sources told Télam, as officials try to draw lessons from the coalition's defeat.

A troublesome day is expected in the markets, as investors react to the results of the PASO. The peso was already trading close to the 50-mark against the US dollar online, before the 10am opening of local exchange markets.

Fernández

Frente de Todos presidential candidate Alberto Fernández vowed that this coalition will "honour every word and every thing" said during the campaign, should they win election, as he gave a radio interview in the wake of his PASO victory.

Fernández said his coalition had emerged victorious because "the Argentines understood the message," and said he would seek to win over those who did not back him ahead of October's election.

"The next Argentina needs everyone and we must bring everyone together," he told Radio 10 in an interview.

Meanwhile, vice-presidential candidate, former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, was travelling to Buenos Aires City this morning for her first meeting with her running-mate after the PASO results.

The national senator for Buenos Aires Province was due to arrive at Jorge Newbery Airport in the capital on a Aerolíneas Argentinas flight from Río Gallegos, Santa Cruz Province at around midday.

Fernández de Kirchner stayed in Santa Cruz afteer casting her vote and missed out on celebrations at the Frente de Todos bunker in Characrita on Sunday night.

– TIMES/NA

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