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Carrió: It’s not my fault if the people love me

UCR chairman Ernesto Sanz is seen alongside UNEN lawmaker Elisa Carrió on Tuesday.

Lawmaker rules out nationwide deal with PRO, Sanz says controversy comes from outside

Firebrand national lawmaker Elisa Carrió yesterday said that she would be happier if she weren’t in politics but feels that she has an ethical duty to do so. Her words yesterday followed her criticism of her former running-mate Fernando “Pino” Solanas, whom she accused of “striking out” at her after she had helped him to win a senate seat.

“Why do they attack me so much? Pray for me so that I am not harmed. It’s not my fault if the people love me,” she told the TN television channel on Wednesday night.

“I felt very used by someone who used me to become a senator and the other day struck me like a cruel macho,” Carrió said. Both she and Solanas are presidential contenders within the coalition and have been at the core of a debate about a potential political deal with the PRO party of Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri, with Carrió supporting it and Solanas rejecting it.

Carrió justified her decision to leave a UNEN rally while Solanas was delivering a speech against the “modern right” by saying she represents a part of the electorate more concerned with values and ethics.

Last night she toned her attacks against Solanas while still saying that the criticisms lobbed against her were personally hurtful.

“The eternal hammering against my person hurts my soul,” she told journalist María O’Donnell. “I don’t want to be in politics but I must, I have a duty, and the people will choose.”

She also said the ruling party has a reason to try to work against an alliance between UNEN and PRO.

“If the Peronist Party wins there is impunity, and the best scenario for them is that there isn’t a broad agreement”

National, province differences

Despite her attempt to play down the controversy by ruling out a national-level alliance between UNEN and the PRO, Carrió’s media work was partially undone yesterday with UCR boss Senator Ernesto Sanz, who tried to play down the UNEN infighting, recognizing some sectors of the UCR are “contemplating provincial alliances” with Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri’s PRO for the upcoming elections.

“At least 10 Radical gubernatorial candidates would like to open the doors to the widest possible alliances, including with parties that are not part of UNEN at the national level,” Sanz told Millenium radio. Such alliances could include PRO and the Renewal Front (FR), according to Sanz, who said that they are “worth contemplating.”

He pointed to UNEN being a “a diverse body” and said there “is always going to be debate, sometimes louder than at other times” within the force.

UNEN is comprised of eight political parties and has vowed to field a single presidential candidate and as many gubernatorial candidates as possible. The coalition has yet to specify a candidate for the province of Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires City.

The group has recognized that it would respect the autonomy of the provincial chapters. In this sense, Córdoba has proven particularly divisive as the provincial UCR party is split internally

The Córdoba province chapters of the UCR and the PRO have, however, already established a preliminary electoral alliance in the city of Marcos Juárez for the upcoming municipal elections, setting a precedent for larger-scale attempts in other districts.

PRO not on the agenda

However, Sanz also made a point of establishing distance between the UNEN coalition and the centre-right PRO. In dialogue with Vorterix radio yesterday, he said that with regards to a possible inclusion of PRO within UNEN: “I’m not even considering it. It isn’t part of the UNEN agenda, because it never has been on the agenda and truth be told all this controversy is being generated externally, without internal repercussions.”

Sanz, also a presidential hopeful, argued that the alliance has been targeted because “when we considered as a front, as a political space, we are in a good position and into a run-off.”

Less conciliatory was the message sent by Socialist leader Hermes Binner, who explicitly rejected any kind of alliance with PRO. “We have a different way of thinking, we wouldn’t abandon hospitals or schools as they are today,” said the former Santa Fe Governor to Radio del Plata.

While noting that he felt that Carrió had made “a mistake” when she left the UNEN stage on Monday night, he also considered the matter “settled” and praised Carrió for her “courage to denounce, to work for a functioning Republic.”

Back on track?

Despite the turmoil four of the five UNEN presidential candidates confirmed that they will travel to Mendoza to participate in the first joint event since Monday’s rally. Solanas, who recently had surgery, has yet to confirm his attendance.

The trip to Mendoza is part of a UNEN campaign strategy to mark national holidays in various parts of the country and was previously planned.

— Herald staff with DyN, Télam

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