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ARGENTINA | 18-08-2023 16:35

'Governors and mayors have started getting in touch with Milei’s team'

Following Javier Milei's stunning triumph in the presidential primary last weekend, the candidate's inner circle is drawing up a list of possible officials who could be appointed should he win the Presidency.

Juan Luis González, journalist and author of the Javier Milei biography El loco, says that nobody at La Libertad Avanza expected such a big triumph for their presidential hopeful – apart from the Milei's sibling.

The journalist further assured that both governors and mayors in different provinces across Argentina have already started to contact the economist to create agreements with the libertarian alliance after its victory in the PASO primaries.

In an interview with Modo Fontevecchia, on Net TV and Radio Perfil (FM 101.9), González talks about the developments of the past week after Milei's triumph in the PASO primaries.

 

On Monday, spin doctor Jaime Durán Barba said that libertarian Javier Milei had more chances to become the president than to be able to rule without suffering the fate of Pedro Castillo’s short-lived government in Peru. Would your research prove that Javier Milei’s government in Argentina is possible?

Firstly, it is a journalistic reality that except for Milei (as we have shared in Noticias) and his sister (who is convinced that God chose him), nobody at La Libertad Avanza thought they would get the 30 percent they achieved last Sunday. Therefore, nobody thought about ruling Argentina in three or four months.

In the magazine we talked about a “Freudian slip” by Carlos Rodríguez, an economist who would be chief advisor – they are already starting to put their cabinet together – who said “I was stupefied by the result, I supported Milei for his ideas, I did not expect him to get 30 percent”.

This clearly indicates what the last few days have been like, frantic and dramatic for all La Libertad Avanza leaders, because it is starting to sink in that they might have to govern in three or four months. Thus, on the one hand this means outlining a potential cabinet, and on the other hand, starting to get on the front line of national and international politics.

Last Monday they began communicating with the International Monetary Fund, who are bound to be saying “we’re going to speak to whoever may be inaugurated in a few months."

And I think this is also a sign, not only of what happened on Sunday, but what may happen in October, to the extent that Milei will surely rack up a few more votes.

Several governors and mayors have already started getting in touch with Milei’s team, to reach a potential agreement, share tickets in such elections as those for governor, but mostly deputies and senators, in local forces with Milei at the helm.

In fact, I talked about this in Noticias: on Tuesday I received a call from a major province to get them the contact of a few La Libertad Avanza gurus, precisely to make headway with that agreement.

 

What would that cabinet look like? Do we know who would be in it?

Milei himself has been sharing a few things. Some stand out, such as Victoria Villarruel handling security. I am no specialist, but she would be vice-president [if Milei was elected], so I don’t know how that would work.

In the magazine we also shared some novelties, for instance, that a former [Daniel] Scioli-supporting official, Guillermo Francos, would be Interior minister. He was president of Banco Provincia during the former Buenos Aires Province governor’s second termo f office, and also a deputy in the 1990s. This is someone who knows Milei very well, they worked at Corporación América together and are quite friendly. Today he works at the IDB, but he’s already on his way.

I can add Carlos Rodríguez as chief adviser and Héctor Rubini and Emilio Ocampo in the Economy Ministry, which they claim isn’t closed yet. Oscar Zago, current Buenos Aires City legislator, would be caucus chief in the lower house Chamber of Deputies.

Sandra Pettovello would go to Human Capital, a new ministry encompassing Labour, Social Development and Health.

There was also something that was denied to the magazine, and which La Libertad Avanza does not wish to confirm, but a very reliable source claims Guillermo Nielsen, today ambassador to Saudi Arabia and former finance secretary for Néstor Kirchner, would be a link between Milei’s government and the IMF. He’s very friendly with Milei. In fact, [TV presenter Alejandro] Fantino remembered that he was the one who told him to put Milei on television.

Martín Krause would be in [the] Education [Ministry], and there comes the debate about [City mayoral hopeful Ramiro] Marra, who had a rather poor election at 13 percent, much less than Milei, and some say he is working to be in a potential cabinet.

The big news now is that, for La Libertad Avanza it was a sleepless night [after the PASO], putting together a cabinet and getting ready to rule.

What adds a bit more uncertainty to a potential Milei government is not just his ideas or his personality/psychology, but that they had no idea they would ultimately govern.

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