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ARGENTINA | 04-10-2023 15:32

Patricia Bullrich crosses Macri after new wink at Milei

Juntos Por el Cambio candidate voices discontent after former president offers words of support for libertarian frontrunner in the event of a potential presidency.

Opposition presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich has expressed her dissatisfaction at untimely comments from her former boss,Mauricio Macri.

Speaking at an event hosted by Harvard University on Tuesday, the former president once again hinted that he is agreement with some of Javier Milei's proposed government policies and said Juntos por el Cambio should support them in Congress if necessary.

“We [Juntos por el Cambio] are going to win the election, but in case that doesn’t happen and he wins the election, I expect our coalition will support any reasonable reform in the Congress,” stated Macri during a panel event at The Institute of Politics at the Harvard Kennedy School.

"I believe in our democracy, in our commitment to freedom and nobody can put that at risk," he added, after being quizzed about Milei's chances of winning the Presidency and whether he is a threat to democracy.

"The biggest risk Milei presents is that he is isolated. And someone that is isolated cannot change the rules in a country. Argentina needs to go back to rules and the law. It has abandoned any type of rule of law," said the PRO leader.

Macri went on to admit that there is a "certain intersection" of ideas between his and Milei's.

"I always believed in liberal ideas and I practiced them [in government] as much as I could, especially respecting press freedom," said Macri. "I'm glad there is another party battling for the same ideas."

With campaigning entering the home stretch ahead of the October 22 election, the expression of potential support for the La Libertad Avanza leader did not go down well with his coalition's nominee.

Speaking to the press, Bullrich suggested deep discontent with Macri's remarks, saying: “We’re in the middle of an electoral race. I don’t think we can discuss that right now, when our strength is precisely parliamentary capacity. I don’t consider it convenient that Macri has said something like that, the timing’s off," she said.

Bullrich ended by saying she would "talk to him" about it.

The former head of state detailed his position on Argentina's political future during a debate at the Institute of Politics of the Harvard Kennedy School in which he discussed whether his coalition should support a hypothetical Javier Milei administration.

“The great challenge we all have together is to get populism out of the country. I’ve always believed in liberal ideas, I tried to carry them out during my term of office,” said Macri, who described Argentina as in a “constant source of decay.”

Speculation about Macri's views on Milei and the libertarian presidential frontrunner's policies have picked up pace in recent months. A few months back, the economist even suggested that if elected he could make the ex-PRO leader a roving ambassador for Argentina, a proposal the latter said he would not consider.

Relations between Macri and Bullrich are said to have plummeted since the PASO primaries on August 13, in which Juntos por el Cambio failed to hit its targets and she was confirmed as the party's presidential candidate.

This is not the first time either that Bullrich, who served as security minister for four years in Macri's 2015-2019 government, has expressed frustration with remarks from her former boss.

In previous episodes, the candidate warned Macri that “now is not the time to cause problem or criticism.”

Jujuy Province Governor Gerardo Morales also later attacked the PRO founder for giving "so much praise to Milei" that he did a "lot of damage to Juntos Por el Cambio."

Sources within Bullrich’s team say they expected greater commitment and backing from Macri, but the former president has failed to live up to their expectations. Though she launched her campaign, the idea was to show herself as independent, public declarations from him in support of her candidacy have for the most been lacking, with a striking silence across social media accounts.

Buenos Aires Province national deputy and former vice-presidential candidate Miguel Ángel Pichetto echoed Bullrich's dissatisfaction, calling on Macri to support her "with conviction."

"We have to consolidate Patricia’s leadership and provide her with all the tools to be president," said Pichetto, who shared an unsuccessful presidential slate with Macri in the 2019 elections.

Opposition sources said Bullrich was upset by the remarks and will meet with Macri to voice her disagreement.

 

– TIMES/PERFIL

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