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September 22, 2014
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Macri rushes to celebrate Córdoba deal

Civic Front Senator Luis Juez (second from right) is seen at a rally alongside Broad Front-UNEN leader Hermes Binner (second from left) last year.
Local UCR official says party ‘has never signed an agreement’ with BA City mayor

A still disputed provisional accord between the PRO party with sectors of Broad Front-UNEN to form a joint ticket in Córdoba province is the first of many agreements to come, Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri said yesterday, although he made it clear his party still intends to run on its own in the 2015 presidential race.

“This is our first deal (in the province), we’ll see what happens next,” Macri said minutes after Argentina won its World Cup match against Nigeria.

His statements came one day after a meeting between Civic Front Senator Luis Juez, a member of the Broad Front-UNEN (FAU), and PRO official Emilio Monzó, who is in charge of strengthening the party in the provinces.

“We’re having very productive conversations with Juez,” Monzó told state-run news agency Télam.

Meanwhile, PRO Senator Diego Santilli said the party wants to “lead a new Argentina,” rejecting the idea that it sought to be anyone’s “co-pilot,” in what was a clear reference to previous statements by Buenos Aires province Governor Daniel Scioli. With his words, Santilli confirmed PRO’s intent to present a presidential ticket led by Macri and not an alliance with other non-Kirchnerite forces.

A well-calculated strategy

Macri wants to form a single PRO-UNEN political front in the key province for the 2015 general elections, taking advantage of the fact that Juez has accused Córdoba City Mayor Ramón Mestre — also a part of Broad Front-UNEN — of corruption.

Monzó, a strategist for Macri, is aware that these divisions are weakening the non-Peronist front, which has an urgent need for allies (Juez mustered just three percent of the votes in last year’s midterms) if it wants to put together a competitive ticket for 2015.

UCR lawmaker Oscar Aguad — a long supporter of a PRO-UCR deal — said the sides were making progress on a future alliance.

“The problem (for a joint alliance of all non-Peronist forces) seems to be Juez,” Aguad told the Herald. “Things are going quite well with the PRO party.”

—Juez is eager to seal a deal with PRO but not with UCR members like Mestre, is that right?

—He’s criticizing part of the front, which is an elegant way of saying “no” to the whole idea.

The candidate

Another question regarding this potential front is who will be the candidate to face the contender backed by Córdoba province Governor José Manuel De la Sota.

On Friday, Macri will travel to the Córdoba provincial city of Marcos Juárez to meet PRO’s candidate in the district, Pedro Dellarossa. The City mayor said Dellarossa is the best candidate to head the alliance’s ticket.

But yesterday Aguad told the Herald that Mestre was “the natural candidate” to head the non-Peronist ticket — that is, “if the polls agree.”

In April, Juez told the Herald “the problem is with Mestre, not with the Radical Party” and that he was being coherent with the Broad Front-UNEN platform for “standing up to corruption wherever it occurs.”

The Civic Front representative added that there was plenty of common ground with the Radicals and that the criminal complaint was not going to keep him from participating in the political front.

Last night, Marcos Juárez’s UCR members said they would not seal a deal with PRO.

“The truth is we’ve been talking for a month and a half and were close to a deal, but we never signed it — and we finally decided not to join forces with them,” Radical representative Hugo Pagani told Télam.

— Herald staff with Télam

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