The ruling coalition has a new name and now we know at least some of its presidential hopefuls.
Following confirmation Thursday that Interior Minister Eduardo ‘Wado’ de Pedro will be a candidate in the PASO (Primarias, Abiertas, Simultáneas y Obligatorias) primaries accompanied by outgoing Tucumán Governor Juan Manzur, the La Cámpora leader issued his first campaign spot to confirm that he is a Unión por la Patria hopeful.
"I want to be your president, the president of all Argentine families." affirmed De Pedro in the campaign spot.
"I deeply love my country. It is again necessary to represent and defend a federal country, recovering the hope and pride of being Argentine. I want to be your president, the president of all Argentine families," he said in a social media launch.
The 46-year-old went on to criticise the previous Mauricio Macri government for its management of the country’s economy and trained his focus on progress, production and "renewal."
As anticipated by Perfil, the minister was the man chosen by Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner 48 hours before the deadline to represent Kirchnerism within Unión por la Patria, accompanied by Manzur, the former Cabinet chief of President Alberto Fernández and outgoing governor of Tucumán Province.
Throughout Thursday afternoon De Pedro had assured the media that a decision was imminent.
"Not long to go to define the candidates. I’ve always said that I’m willing but always giving priority to agreement and consensus,” teased the man commonly known as ‘Wado,’
De Pedro, a lawyer by profession, is the son of a couple who disappeared during Argentina's 1976-1983 dictatorship. He is a founding member of the HIJOS human rights group and the La Cámpora political youth organisation founded by Kirchnerism.
On Wednesday fellow hopeful Daniel Scioli had presented to the Electoral Board the required guarantees of the coalition’s member parties (Partido Justicialista, Frente Renovador, Frente Grande, Kolina, Partido para la Victoria and Nuevo Encuentro) in order to run.
The other official confirmation on Thursday was that apart from the candidates blessed by the Vice-President, there would be primaries in Unión por la Patria while, after months of speculation, Buenos Aires Province Governor Axel Kicillof would be running for re-election in the nation's key battleground.
Until three days ago Manzur had been saying that he would be competing in the primaries as a presidential hopeful but, following a private meeting in the Senate with Cristina Kirchner last Wednesday, the outgoing Tucumán governor emerged as a vice-presidential candidate.
When replacing Santiago Cafiero as Cabinet chief, the general talk was that Manzur would lend "political muscle" to a government reeling from adverse electoral results but his star soon faded and the government’s problems never stopped growing.
And Sergio Massa? Speculation is increasing that the economy minister could be a senatorial candidate to add weight in Congress with any presidential candidacy ruled out.
"The economy minister tried until the last minute to be the candidate but the Kirchner surname had already decided against it some time ago," reported Perfil journalist Rosario Ayerdi on Thursday.
Just before the deadline, Kirchnerism has opted for "a son of the decimated generation" and a soon-to-be ex-governor to supply territorial muscle.