Interior Minister Eduardo “Wado” De Pedro was announced as the head of Economy Minister Sergio Massa’s presidential campaign today, in a meeting with 12 provincial governors and other government officials. The decision was confirmed to the Herald by De Pedro’s press team.
The meeting, which took place in the Federal Investment Council (CFI) in Buenos Aires, aimed to be a show of unity in the ruling coalition Unión por la Patria (UxP).
“We thank ‘Wado’ De Pedro and Daniel Scioli for their generosity and for subscribing to this unified ticket,” Tierra del Fuego Governor Gustavo Melella said in a press conference after the meeting. “And we celebrate that the campaign manager, from this moment, is ‘Wado’ De Pedro, the interior minister but also a leader in our coalition.”
Two weeks ago, De Pedro announced his willingness to run for president but withdrew his candidacy after UxP announced Massa to be the “unity candidate.” The move prompted social leader Juan Grabois to announce his own presidential bid for the intra-coalition primaries — he had previously withdrawn from the race to support De Pedro’s candidacy.
De Pedro belongs to the center-left Kirchnerist wing of Peronism led by Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. Two weeks ago, Kirchner said that De Pedro would have been her candidate if there had been intra-coalition primaries.
“Today’s meeting was for reaffirming the Argentina we want — not an Argentina of austerity and repression, but an Argentina filled with hope,” Melella said today.
Before the meeting started, Massa’s running mate, Agustín Rossi said to the media that “the governors played an important role in the birth of this synthesis ballot, with the majority support of all our political space.”
A month ago, also at the CFI, over a dozen governors belonging to the ruling coalition called for the definition of a single presidential candidate for the upcoming primaries.
Today, Tucumán Governor Juan Manzur said that a new meeting “encompassing the whole political coalition” will take place in the next few days. The goal, he said, will be to set the priorities for the next administration.