Buenos Aires ballots trigger Juntos por el Cambio infighting

Press rumours prompted Macri to accuse Larreta of “changing the rules”

Rumours of a possible change to voting rules in Buenos Aires City sparked a public disagreement among opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio over the Easter weekend. The altercation prompted former President Mauricio Macri to speak out against the idea on social media. 

It is the first public sign of discord between Macri and city mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, a presidential hopeful and fellow PRO leader who served as the ex-president’s second-in-command while he was mayor of Buenos Aires.

Unlike some provinces, the national and BA city primary elections will be held on the same day, August 13. Voters will choose the candidates who will run in October’s general election.

Although Rodríguez Larreta did not make the changes official, several news outlets reported that he was intending to split the ballot into two: one for President and national Congress representatives, and another for City roles of Mayor, City legislature, and other local authorities. Until 2019, Buenos Aires citizens voted in two separate days. It was only during the 2019 election that the candidates were unified in a single, long ballot. 

The Herald has contacted Larreta’s team for comment.

However, Mauricio Macri tweeted yesterday expressing his rejection of the possibility. “I was asked my thoughts about the possibility of using two ballots in the Buenos Aires elections,” he said. “It clearly represents more spending, more queuing, more time, more ballots, more boxes,” he said, adding: “that politicians think that by changing the rules in an election, their citizens will change their vote, is not knowing them.”

Several Juntos por el Cambio presidential candidates will compete, including Rodriguez Larreta, who is thought to have allied with the Radical Party to back Martín Lousteau as the next Mayor of Buenos Aires. Some onlookers believe Larreta might be using two ballots as a strategy so that voters pick Lousteau’s list rather than Mauricio Macri’s cousin Jorge Macri on a long ballot. But Mauricio has claimed repeatedly that he expects Jorge to become the next Mayor. 


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