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ARGENTINA | 14-10-2023 07:58

Patricia Bullrich says former rival Horacio Rodríguez Larreta will be her Cabinet chief, if elected

Opposition coalition leader Patricia Bullrich announces that Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the rival she defeated in the Juntos por el Cambio primary, will be named as Cabinet chief if she is elected head of state.

Opposition coalition presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich announced Saturday that her former rival for the nomination, Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, will be appointed Cabinet chief if she elected as Argentina's next head of state.

The news was trailed by multiple local outlets on Friday night and confirmed on Saturday morning at an event at the Botanical Gardens in Palermo, Buenos Aires.

"There is only one political force to carry forward the change. We are a ready and prepared political force and we are prepared to take government," said Bullrich.

"To make this change possible, fast and efficient, with management capacity, I have called Horacio Rodríguez Larreta to accompany me as chief of the National Cabinet of Ministers," she added.

Bullrich said the move would give Rodríguez Larreta a "concrete, determined role" that is similar to the one the mayor has performed for Buenos Aires City for the last eight years. She said he was sure the mayor would exercise it "with the capacity that you have always shown."

"I am grateful for the opportunity to be Cabinet chief when you are president, from December 10 [on]. You are the miost qualified person who has the conviction, the courage, the strength and the capacity to carry out the change and transformation that Argentina needs," said Rodríguez Larreta.

Bullrich, 67, and Rodríguez Larreta, 57, fought a bitter campaign for the opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition's presidential nomination, with the former security minister eventually emerging triumphant after an easy victory in the August 13 PASO primaries.

Their relationship has been strained at times, most recently on the campaign trail, and there had been widespread speculation that Rodríguez Larreta – who spent years planning his run for the Presidency – would depart domestic politics as a result of his failure to win his party's nomination and search for opportunities overseas.

However, with Bullrich trailing libertarian frontrunner Javier Milei in the polls and facing a battle to finish in the top two positions on October 22 and make the November 19 run-off, she has convinced her former rival to come onboard. The move should help ensure that voters who back the City mayor in the primaries opt to back her at the ballot-box.

Rodríguez Larreta remains in post as the current mayor of Buenos Aires City, a post he has held for eight years, and will step down in December. The favourite to succeed him as leader of the capital is fellow PRO politician Jorge Macri, the cousin of former president Mauricio Macri.

In a move to design to highlight unity within Juntos por el Cambio, Mauricio Macri joined Bullrich on the campaign trail on Friday for two stops in Junín and Pergamino, Buenos Aires Province.

According to reporting in local media on Friday, Bullrich plans to deliver a series of announcements over the weekend in an attempt to win over voters in the final days of campaigning. 

Bullrich's pick for economy minister, Carlos Melconian, also attends to address the media after a scandal related to the publication of controversial audio recordings that allegedly feature his voice.

 

– TIMES/NA

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