Government coalition working group focuses on Cristina Kirchner’s prospective ban

“There isn’t, or there shouldn’t be, any media-driven, judicial or economic power that can override the people’s will.”

Following much anticipation, 33 representatives from Argentine provincial governments, congressmembers, workers’ unions and activists met last night for the first Frente de Todxs first political working group.  After five hours of talks, the coalition issued a statement early on Friday with Vice President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner — who was not present — as a key point of agreement.

“Those who participate in this working group are responsible for carrying out any necessary tasks to stop the political ban of Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, whose leadership and electoral potential can’t be taken away from us,” it said. 

“There isn’t, or there shouldn’t be, any media-driven, judicial or economic power that can override the people’s will.” 

In a show of unity, key representatives like President Alberto Fernández, Interior Minister Wado de Pedro, Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero, and Economy Minister Sergio Massa were at the meeting. Congressman Máximo Kirchner was a surprise attendee, initially saying he wouldn’t take part to avoid conflict following months of tensions with the president.

After receiving a six-year jail term and a lifetime ban from public office, CFK announced in December 2022 that she would not run for president in 2023. Her party colleagues considered the judicial decision to be politically driven, made to specifically prohibit her from being elected. 

CFK’s team has stated that they will appeal the ruling and she is legally allowed to run for president as long as there’s no firm conviction, which could take years. 

Underlying tensions

The statement generally addressed Argentina’s current economic situation by saying that they’re aware of “all the demands that they must address,” and that they will continue to make efforts to “reduce inflation,” “raise salaries’ buying power,” and work on public policies to “make people’s lives better”. 

They also agreed that the PASO, the primary elections, are vital to boosting participation within parties and “synthesizing different views within a common project.”  

However, the coalition did not disclose what candidates, if any, emerged from the talks. So far, Alberto Fernández is the only prominent official willing to run for reelection in 2023. Earlier in February, he hinted that he expects the Frente de Todxs presidential ticket to be defined through primary elections. The remarks suggested that he could run in presidential primaries against rivals within his own government, an unprecedented situation for a sitting president in Argentina.  

Andrés “Cuervo” Larroque, a leader of Kirchnerite political organization  La Cámpora, said earlier today on Futurock radio that  La Cámpora argued in the meeting that it’s “illogical” and “unnatural”  to run primaries with him as a candidate. He also stressed that they expect to insist on a CFK candidacy, and that they will ask her to reconsider her position about it. 

Although the meeting was intended to soothe infighting among the coalition, none of the pictures taken during the encounter were shared by attendees until Kirchner’s allies provided them to the press in the afternoon.

[Update February 17th, 16:15]: information added regarding event photos


All Right Reserved.  Buenos Aires Herald