Tucumán Governor Juan Manzur announced late Thursday that he is withdrawing his candidacy from this year’s provincial elections in the wake of this week’s controversial Supreme Court ruling
Speaking at a press conference in San Miguel de Tucumán, Manzur said that he would no longer run as Osvaldo Jaldo’s running-mate and candidate for lieutenant governor.
He said he hoped the nation’s highest tribunal would in response pull the injunction suspending this Sunday’s scheduled gubernatorial election and let the province go to the polls to choose its new leaders.
"We have taken the decision to decline my candidacy for vice-governor. We are doing this to clear up doubts," Manzur, a former national Cabinet chief and veteran Peronist leader, told reporters, with Jaldo seated alongside him.
Provincial Interior Minister Miguel Acevedo will take his place on the ticket, Manzur confirmed.
"My place will be taken by a good man, a professional. He has a long career, he has worked with me and with Jaldo, he has done an exceptional job. We have thought of him to take his place," said the governor.
Argentina's Supreme Court on Tuesday dramatically suspended gubernatorial elections in Tucumán and San Juan slated for Sunday just five days before voters were due to go to the ballot box, provoking a fierce rebuke from the government.
The court suspended the elections in the northwestern provinces citing the "unconstitutionality" of the pro-government candidates, following a request by the local opposition parties.
They claimed that two Peronist candidates, Manzur and San Juan Governor Sergio Uñac, had overstayed their mandates as governors and deputy governors in their provinces.
Although the Supreme Court has not yet ruled on the fundamental issue – whether or not the veteran Peronists can be candidates – Manzur said Thursday he would step aside for the good of the province.
The 54-year-old described the suspension of the gubernatorial ballot was “inopportune.”
Though the injunction only affected the race for governor and lieutenant-governor, Tucumán’s provincial government this week suspended all other ballots in the wake of the other ruling.
Manzur told reporters he hoped the Supreme Court would now allow the elections to go ahead as planned.
"If the impediment was my nomination, by declining the nomination, there is no impediment to the suspension of the precautionary measure, so that the people of Tucumán can vote," declared Manzur.