This week included elections from start to finish with PASO primary voting in San Juan last Sunday and Chubut taking its own PASO turn tomorrow, while Río Negro will be defining its future governor and provincial legislature.
The San Juan PASO result seemed to offer early momentum for Peron i sm w it h a landslide win for Governor Sergio Uñac – with 55.74 percent of the vote as against 32.18 percent for Marcelo Orrego heading the Con Vos list aligned with President Mauricio Macri in a highly polarised race, according to the final results – together with high hopes for General Roca Mayor Martín Soria as the opinion poll frontrunner in Río Negro.
Yet the Macri camp placed a different spin on Uñac’s clear triumph – rather than a Peronist victory, they saw it as the second straight win for an incumbent provincial government following the Neuquén Popular Movement’s re-election last month.
According to this logic, tomorrow should see both Patagonian provinces go to relatively neutral incumbents, rather than either Macri or Kirchnerism, just as in Neuquén.
This logic also leads them to begrudge support to their own Río Negro candidate, Radical deputy Lorena Matzen, in the hope of frustrating Kirchnerism. But the ruling Juntos Somos Río Negro party is weakened by running an emergency stand-in – Tourism Minister Arabela Carreras – after the Supreme Court barred Governor Alberto Weretilneck from seeking re-election only a fortnight ago.
Should Soria win, the momentum would not point entirely in the same direction – Soria is an ardent Kirchnerite while Uñac is sufficiently estranged from ex-president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner to hint at being the runningmate of alternative Peronist dark horse Roberto Lavagna.
Meanwhile Chubut is unlikely to make it a hat-trick for the Peronist opposition since its candidates (Carlos Linares, Gustavo MacKarthy and Omar Burgoa) trail both the incumbent Governor Mariano Arcioni of the neo-Peronist Chubut Somos Todos and the Cambiemos candidate, Radical deputy Gustavo Menna, a few points behind.
Much to look out for.