Saturday, September 25

Demolishing defeat of Alberto and Cristina Fernández in the Argentine primaries


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Mute and with his head bowed. Cristina Fernández embodied, as had never been seen before, the image of defeat. The Frente de Todos, which had come out euphoric in these legislative primaries (understood as a first round), stayed in front of their own. The Peronism that today is known as Kirchnerism in Argentina lost in 18 of the 24 provinces. Never seen. But the father of the defeat and the one who had to come out to show his face was the other Fernández, Alberto, the President of the Republic.

“We will not have done something right,” assumed the man who, until a few days ago, boasted dark circles and excess weight due to the anxiety generated by the position. “Two country models, one that includes and the other that leaves people to the side,” he tried to describe to identify the differences between the opposition that ruined his dinner – and possibly the two years that he has left in government – and those who accumulate some indices of poverty, public debt and inflation that far exceed those inherited from Mauricio Macri. “We only want the happiness of our people,” continued Fernández in line with marketing that appeals to emotions and feelings. On a stage with the backdrop of the Argentine flag and a yellow heart in the center, the staff of their candidates for the PASO (Simultaneous and Compulsory Open Primaries), the president and vice president of Argentina (she without saying a word) acknowledged a failure that no pollster considered, before and after the polls closed.

In an attempt to regain enthusiasm for the November elections where, indeed, it will be renewed half of Congress and one third of SenateAlberto Fernández tried to lift the sinking spirits of his constituents: «Go talk to your neighbors. Let’s not waste the day. This campaign is just beginning. If this result is confirmed in two months, the opposition would have an absolute majority in Congress and the ruling party would lose control of the Senate. The reverse could not be harsher.

The yellow of that stamped heart was the color that the map of Argentina was stained with and that identifies Together for Change, the force that gave something more than a surprise to this 21st century Peronism. His candidates swept the three main provinces of the country. The one in Buenos Aires (38 percent) in which ‘Cristina’ had placed all her hopes with Governor Axel Kicillof and that concentrates practically 40 percent of the votes, in CABA (City of Buenos Aires) where Horacio Rodríguez Larreta governs, Mauricio Macri’s former right-hand man and candidate for the Casa Rosada in a couple of years (he touched 50 percent of votes) and in Córdoba (more than 47 percent) and Santa Fe (40 percent), the other two most important in economic and population terms. Their victory guarantees, in any election, a devastating victory.

Effects of failure

In the general scrutiny, the “yellow” far surpassed the ruling party and prevailed even in places where poverty is a mouth that fed Kirchner patronage. An example illustrates it, El Chaco, where tuberculosis continues to be a disease that has not been eradicated and Cambiemos achieved more than 44 percent of the votes. But the problem of “the Fernández” has a more worrying reading in its midst. The measure dozen of provinces that theirs won represents only 10 percent of the electorate of all Argentina. They are La Rioja, Tucumán, Santiago del Esterio, San Juan, Formosa and Catamarca. The icing on the “K” failure was her defeat in Santa Cruz, a stronghold of Kirchnerism where the family ruled for decades enjoying the imposing Perito Moreno glacier. There, where they are known, Cambiemos touched 29 percent of the vote.

The effects of this failure they will soon see each other in the government. An assault on the Executive of La Cámpora, the youth organization founded by Máximo Kirchner and which already has a closed beard, is not ruled out. The changes in the Cabinet that have been whispered for a long time seem to be imperative and the pulse on who is in charge in Argentina will once again occur with a certain defeated: Alberto Fernández. The president turned off before the long shadow of his vice president from now on it seems that it will be, in absolute terms, in his hands. The main question is whether by November they will be able to turn the tables on the elections or not. Time and the tiredness of the Argentines (with a tendency to get on the runes on a winning horse) will tell.

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