Thursday, August 18

Up to five Argentine ministers resign after electoral debacle

The Argentine president, Alberto Fernández.

The Argentine president, Alberto Fernández.
Esteban Collazo / telam / dpa

Until five Argentine ministers, including the Interior Officer, Eduardo de Pedro, have placed their positions at the disposal of the president on Wednesday from Argentina, Alberto Fernández, after the electoral debacle from the past primary elections. “Listening to his words on Sunday night” and faced with the need to “interpret the verdict expressed by the Argentine people,” De Pedro has considered that the best option is to present his resignation.

Along with the head of the Interior, the ministers of Science and Technology, Roberto Salvarezza, and that of Justice, Martín Soria, all close to the vice president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, have also made his position available to Fernández, reports ‘La Nación’ . Also those responsible for the Environment, Juan Cabandié, for Culture, Tristán Bauer, the Secretary of Commerce, Paula Español, and other officials of the Fernández Administration close to Kirchnerism.

The resignations have led to a meeting headed by Fernández at the Casa Rosada, which was attended by the Chief of Staff, Santiago Cafiero, as well as the Ministers of Social Development, Juan Zabaleta; of Security, Sabina Frederic; of Production, Matías Kulfas; of Economy, Martín Guzmán; of Labor, Claudio Moroni, and that of Public Works, Gabriel Katopodis, in addition to the Foreign Office, Felipe Solá, according to the Télam agency. The head of the Health portfolio, Carla Vizzotti, and that of Tourism and Sports, Matías Lammens, have also starred in this event, according to information from ‘La Nación’. The meeting concluded with the president’s return to the official residence, Quinta de Olivos, and without announcements regarding the Cabinet crisis.

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During the meeting, both Frederic and Moroni have expressed their I support the Argentine president through two messages. “All my support for Alberto Fernández, a synthesis of popular unity to achieve the country we want. The Frente de Todos is the guarantee that the will of the people expressed in 2019 becomes a reality,” the Security Minister wrote on Twitter. Likewise, officials, governors, unions, social movements and political formations have expressed their support for Fernández and, even, a demonstration of support has been called this Thursday in the Plaza de Mayo, in Buenos Aires.

“A coup” of Kirchnerism

The leader of the Civic Coalition, Elisa Carrió, has harshly criticized these resignations and has accused them of “fleeing a defeat that belongs to Cristina Kirchner”, in reference to the bad result of the ruling party, of which this formation was part of the presidential past of 2019. “The attempt to empty a president by a vice president is something the French call coup“Carrió said to Radio Miter microphones.” This was already wrong in origin, because Cristina Kirchner was the one who elected the president. A vice president cannot be the head of the opposition, “he pointed out.” A vice president cannot tell a president who to put or remove, whether he is defeated or victorious. (…) I would tell the president to resist and to avoid a radicalization coup to avoid a coup, “said Carrió, who advances that the ruling coalition Together for Change released a statement on the matter.

Argentines went to the polls this Sunday for primary, open, simultaneous and mandatory elections (known as PASO) and thus define who will be the candidates who will compete for seats in Congress in the November 14 elections. According to preliminary results, the opposition coalition Together for Change would have won 38.3% of the support, while the ruling party has barely convinced 29.5% of the electorate.

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After the bump, the president has promised to redouble his efforts in the legislative elections called in November, “with the commitment and strength of always to satisfy the needs that have not been satisfied.”

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