Elisa Carrió, founder and leader of the Juntos por el Cambio member party Coalición Cívica, is backing Buenos Aires city Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta in this Sunday’s primary elections, she announced on Twitter.
Her words show she has chosen the mayor over his internal rival, former security minister Patricia Bullrich.
“I believe in strength, consistency and doing things one step at a time. That’s why I believe in Larreta,” Carrió tweeted on Sunday morning.
Both Larreta and Bullrich are members of PRO, one of JxC’s largest parties, and will compete on August 13 for a place in the October 22 general elections.
Her choice of words to describe the mayor contrasts with Bullrich’s campaign promises to make radical changes in Argentina from day one of her presidential term, should she win.
Larreta says he would progressively eliminate export duties and currency controls if elected. However, Bullrich has said she would do so immediately.
Carrió said Larreta is “a person that works day by day, relentlessly, to make a change in Argentina” and that “it’s time to heal to move forward,” asking people to vote for him in the primaries.
“Your words make me very emotional, dear Lilita,” Larreta replied. “Thank you for your support and your unconditional company.”
Carrió had previously voiced her support for CC deputy Juan Manuel López in a dispute after he said in July that a Bullrich government would suffer “difficulties” similar to the 2001 crisis.
On Wednesday, JxC National Deputy and former Buenos Aires province governor María Eugenia Vidal also publicly backed Larreta’s candidacy.
This earned her the criticism of former President Mauricio Macri for not remaining neutral as the coalition aims to show unity ahead of the primaries. Larreta and Bullrich will even wait for the results together on August 13.
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Macri tweeted that he did not intend to “question” Vidal and her freedom to back a candidate, but said that she “did not keep her word” to remain neutral.
Although Carrió announced she would run for president at the start of the year, she bowed out of the race after Larreta offered her a position on his ballot as the main candidate for the Mercosur Parliament (Parlasur, by its Spanish acronym) candidate.
After suffering a stroke-like medical emergency on July 13, Carrió announced she would not participate in the JxC campaign because she needed to rest to recover.