Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta said on Wednesday evening that he wouldn’t support either candidate in the presidential runoff, hours after his former rival in the primaries Patricia Bullrich said she would endorse far-right presidential hopeful Javier Milei.
“I am consistent with my convictions, both options are very bad for Argentines,” Larreta said in a press conference in Buenos Aires City’s government headquarters, referring to Milei and Peronist candidate Sergio Massa. “And I choose Juntos por el Cambio’s unity.”
About Massa, he said that he would mean “the reelection of Kirchnerist populism and the disaster of this government.”
“It is hyperinflation, while he continues printing to give away pesos that are worth less and less every day,” he said. “Massa is quick fix after quick fix after quick fix, improvising with no real solution to what we Argentines suffer.”
On the other hand, the mayor said that Milei would be “a leap into the void” and a “new populism.”
“I do not believe in anything he proposes: I do not believe in the free sale of weapons, I do not believe in the sale of organs, I do not believe in dollarization,” he said.
Larreta’s comments came hours after his former intra-coalition rival Patricia Bullrich — who came third in the presidential election — publicly said she would support Milei in the upcoming run-off.
“Yesterday I had a meeting with Javier Milei where we had a conversation in private about those statements, and we forgave each other mutually,” she told the Herald, referring to the fact she accused her of planting a bomb in a kindergarten, prompting her to file a criminal complaint.
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Larreta has also consistently been the target of Milei’s foul-mouthed tirades — in a recent campaign event he called the mayor a “bald-headed filthy piece of shit” among many other demeaning names.
“The guy said a lot of things about me,” Larreta said in his press conference. “I think the softest thing he called me was ‘rat’. But if he was good for the country I would support him anyway, the problem is that he is not good for the country.”
Larreta was the last JxC politician to speak publicly about his post-electoral perspective: multiple factions within the opposition coalition held press conferences throughout Wednesday to position themselves in the face of the November 19th run-off. The mayor acknowledged the “obvious” tensions within the coalition while focusing on “sustaining the largest coalition possible.”
The rumor of the Juntos por el Cambio coalition breaking down circulated in most media outlets after Bullrich decided to endorse Milei “on a personal level.” According to her, she decided the move after a meeting between the two of them on Tuesday night. Sources from La Libertad Avanza, Milei’s party, confirmed that former President Mauricio Macri also met with the far-right presidential candidate.
“I did not know anything, it was a midnight meeting, in secret,” said Larreta. “I do not know what they agreed or what they talked about.”
Asked about whether Bullrich and Macri should leave Juntos por el Cambio, Larreta highlighted again that he would work to ensure coalition doesn’t break.
“The stronger we are, the stronger will be our capacity to take care of the Argentines as an opposition to the coming government”, he said. Leaders of the UCR, one of JxC’s main parties, contended earlier on Wednesday that Bullrich and Macri had effectively left the coalition after making the “unilateral decision” to support Milei.
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Larreta did not explicitly answer a question by the Herald regarding whether there would be a joint PRO or JxC statement regarding the upcoming presidential elections.
“In Juntos por el Cambio, we owe it to ourselves to reflect, exercise a self-criticism, a joint learning process for our ways of working, of deciding, of the way we take stands,” he said, having opened the press conference recognizing the coalition’s considerable electoral loss in Sunday’s presidential election.
“We saw how we fared with the way we currently function.”