Civic Coalition founder Elisa Carrió announced yesterday on a radio show that she will compete in the presidential primaries within the opposition coalition, Juntos por el Cambio.
The former Congresswoman will run on behalf of her party, Civic Coalition, one of the main parties within the Juntos por el Cambio coalition.
“I’m going to start my campaign after May because I don’t campaign while I’m working,” she told Urbana Play, although she also conceded that she was “not expecting to win”. According to Argentina’s electoral calendar, parties can put forward candidates between May 15 and June 24.
It is not yet clear who Juntos por el Cambio will field as candidates. Horacio Rodríguez Larreta and Patricia Bullrich have said they will run on behalf of the PRO (Propuesta Republicana) party, while Jujuy governor Gerardo Morales has said he will be a candidate for the Radical Party. Recently, congressman Mario Negri criticized former president Mauricio Macri for not having endorsed one of the potential candidates yet, nor having stated whether he’ll be a candidate himself.
Juntos por el Cambio, the principal opposition coalition, was created in 2019 as an expansion of Cambiemos, the coalition that beat kirchnerism in the 2015 election. Its largest parties are Propuesta Republicana (PRO), the Radical Civic Party (UCR), and the Civic Coalition-ARI (CC-ARI), which was founded by Carrió. Together, they hold 149 seats in Congress; PRO has the most seats, followed by the UCR and then the CC-ARI.
A wide range of political ideologies are represented in the coalition, with some members representing centrist positions while others espouse far-right ideas. Larreta and Carrió – often named “Lilita” – are widely considered to represent center-right politics, while Bullrich is a far-right security hardliner. Carrió entered Congress in 1995, representing her province, Chaco, and Buenos Aires City, and left her position in 2020 to focus on her personal affairs.
“There will be two or three candidates on behalf of the PRO, if Macri wants to run,” said Carrió, “one from the Radical Party and one from the Civic Coalition.” She added that there might even be cross-party listings, with presidential and vice-presidential candidates from different groups.
She criticized some of her coalition colleagues for having rushed into candidacy announcements. “Juntos por el Cambio is worn out due to some who stated their candidacies too soon,” she said.
Rodríguez Larreta said of Carrió’s candidacy that he and she are “a part of the same team”, and that they have a “very clear agreement,” although he didn’t provide any more details about the future of their political relations.
Sources close to Rodríguez Larreta told the Herald that Carrió’s announcement is a strategy to take the pressure off the strongest candidates of the coalition so far, in the face of broadsides from their political foes.