María Eugenia Vidal has officially declared her candidacy for deputy in Buenos Aires City, saying she wants to "defend Argentines from the abuses of power."
Speaking at an event in Palermo last weekend, the ex-Buenos Aires Province governor confirmed she would run for Congress in the capital, making official her crossover from the district she governed between 2015 and 2019.
Laying out her case, the 47-year-old accused Kirchnerism of offering "more in the way of narrative than responses" to problems.
Accepting and launching her candidacy, Vidal said that apart from "defending Argentines from abuses of power and improvisation," she also wished to go to Congress for the opposition coalition "to construe the word future anew."
"Juntos por el Cambio can be broad and diverse but we are all united behind the same values which brought us here and the same convictions to continue defending the people but also having learned new lessons," said the PRO party politician.
Although identified with a moderate wing at odds with the more hawkish line represented by Mauricio Macri, Vidal went out of her way to praise the former president in her speech, saying: "He began that statesmanlike path which today is [mainly] in the City and that’s the state we want for all Argentina."
"In this election the future of the Argentines is at stake. I want to be a deputy to raise my voice when they advance against our freedoms, our democracy, our Constitution and our values," commented the ex-governor, adding: "I never speculated nor sought advantage."
The PRO leader also sought to explain her decision to run in the City, rather than in her previous district.
"I’m not competing in Buenos Aires Province because I want others to grow there. My commitment to and respect for that province will never change. When this election is over, it will be defended by many more leaders, apart from me."
Vidal was accompanied at the rally by Patricia Bullrich, who chairs PRO party, City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, Senator Martín Lousteau and Coalición Cívica-ARI head Maximiliano Ferraro, among other leading Juntos por el Cambio figures based in the Federal Capital.
For some analysts, the rally was seen as a photo op in order to show a united Juntos por el Cambio in the City, after the sparks obliging Bullrich to step down from her bid to run in the midterms.
"This reflects the unity we have in this City. We don’t all think alike but we have values which unite us. We discuss public policy and that enriches it," pointed out Rodríguez Larreta, highlighting that the opposition coalition has "the vocation to continue adding other outlooks."
The City Mayor also paid tribute to Bullrich’s "grand gesture" in dropping out of the electoral race in the City.
"There is something which we should not overlook – this is the first time since 1983 that we have been able to keep the opposition to a Peronist government united while defending the institutions," underlined Rodríguez Larreta, adding. "The grieta rift has been good business for politicians but useless for the people. I’m convinced that we’ll have a great election nationwide with these values."
For her part, Bullrich located the country "at a turning-point between a decadent past and a yearning for progress," adding: "This turning-point places an enormous responsibility on us because we have been chosen as the alternative."
"This list of [candidates for] national deputy has two fundamental elements: republican resistance, as our [Congress] caucus has shown and pressing the accelerator towards hope and the protection of a country with more private-sector than public-sector employment where the law prevails and which is tough on rampant crime, and which turns in social plans to give families a plan of life and progress instead," she manifested, predicting: "We’ll have a great election because the people is hoping to return to progress."
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Finally, Lousteau called for the construction of "a broader and better Juntos por el Cambio with new voices and more managerial capacity. We’re working to offer the best electoral options everywhere."