Monday, May 20, 2024

ARGENTINA | 29-01-2019 19:05

Vidal backs away from plans to modify provincial electoral calendar

Governor Maria Eugenia Vidal decides against bringing forward Buenos Aires provincial election.

María Eugenia Vidal is stepping back from plans to bring the Buenos Aires provincial election forward.

Allies of governor of Buenos Aires province told the media Vidal wanted to "make life easier for Buenos Aires residents" instead of forcing them to ballot for provincial the national election in October.

"We don't want people to have to go more often to vote. We think that changing the rules so close to the election is a bad idea, and it's more expensive", sources told

Vidal had come under fire from the opposition in her province, after her operators within the Buenos Aires provincial Legislature began an informal consultation process over the issue with moderate factions and opposition parties.

Some claimed the Governor was trying to set up a situation in which, if an unpopular and poorly polled President Mauricio Macri looked unlikely to win the October 2019 presidential election, she could replace him.

Others like provincial Cabinet Chief Federico Salvai argued the more popular governor would fare better in her attempts to secure reelection if the provincial race were not tied to the national one, where Macri is facing an uphill battle in the context of widespread dissatisfaction over his government's handling of the economy.

In the same light, Macri's political guru-slash-advisor Jaime Durán Barba and national Cabinet Chief Marcos Peña were reportedly the two most vocal opponents of the idea to hold provincial elections earlier, since it would strip the president of the opportunity to benefit from Vidal's popularity.

Buenos Aires province is a key battle ground in national elections. Vidal won the race, to the surprise of many, in 2015, beating supposed Peronist shoe-ins on a wave of anti-Kirchner, anti-Peronist sentiment.

In campaign mode this weekend, Macri and Vidal were seen gallivanting together around Mar del Plata.

"We have demonstrated that when we sit down together at the same table, and if we work telling the truth, then all our problems have a solution", Macri told reporters at the reopening of the Bernardo Houssay public hospital in Mar del Plata.


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