Friday, December 1, 2023

ARGENTINA | 08-07-2021 16:30

Ruling coalition quietly works to define PASO line-up

With just two weeks to go until lists need to be defined, party leaders are analysing their potential candidates. Victoria Tolosa Paz, Martín Insaurralde favourites to top list in Buenos Aires Province.

While Juntos por el Cambio’s internal skirmishes echo across the media, the ruling Frente de Todos coalition is managing its own tensions between sectors in relative silence, studying its different options for candidacies in Buenos Aires Province and beyond.

The panorama is certainly not defined for the ruling coalition, since there are many potential strategies that could be followed in order to confront the opposition coalition in this year’s “mother of all battles.”

The first hypothesis is that a woman may head the list of candidates for national deputies, potentially Victoria Tolosa Paz, the head of the National Council for the Coordination of Social Policies. 

She is a figure who produces the most consensus so far, among both Alberto Fernández and Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The La Plata-born official is seen as a good “synthesis” of the ruling coalition, representing both Kirchnerismo and Albertismo.

Two members of La Cámpora, ANSES chief Fernanda Raverta and PAMI director Luana Volnovich, were other cards that were shuffled into the deck, though with lesser chance, as they represent a single faction of the ruling front. Both are also in key positions and Máximo Kirchner’s group prefers its main figures to occupy executive positions.

Other electoral offerings under discussion include the positioning of a Cabinet minister at the top of the list, underlining the importance of the government’s project. Along these lines, names such as Gabriel Katapodis (Public Works minister), Daniel Arroyo (Social Development minister) and Santiago Cafiero (Cabinet chief) were floated. The latter has been ruled out, but the other two remain a possibility. 

Rumours also put the name of Legal & Technical Secretary Vilmar Ibarra out there, though she has said she wishes to remain in her post. “It is what she does best,” say sources, and she believes it is where “she can contribute the most.”

Interestingly, there is a common denominator among these names – all are seen as approved by Alberto Fernández and his allies in the ruling coalition.

There is, however, a third hypothesis – one seen by analysts as perhaps the strongest and most likely. This is the view that a mayor from Greater Buenos Aires should lead the ticket in the nation’s most-populous district. To that end, the name of Martín Insaurralde, mayor of Lomas de Zamora, is emerging. 

Last week, he led an event hailing the delivery of thousands of netbook computers in his municipality. Among those in attendance? Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Axel Kicillof and Victoria Tolosa Paz. The former president chooses her few public appearances very carefully and it did not go unnoticed. Also counting in Insaurralde’s favour is the good relationship he holds with Máximo Kirchner. 

Insaurralde and Tolosa Paz are now seen as the favorites to occupy the first two places on the ballot.

The ruling party has a total of 16 seats up for grabs in the Chamber of deputies and it hopes to pick up a few more, potentially even repeating its electoral success of 2019, when it gained 19.



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by Sebastián Hadida, NA


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