After a tumultuous couple of days that saw Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) tinker on the brink of dissolution, former president Mauricio Macri came out to back Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA) against Sergio Massa (Unión por la Patria, UxP) in the presidential run-off. Macri also lambased members of the Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) party who had said that he had broken JxC, accusing them of having secret dealings with Massa.
“[Milei] is the leader of the path to change; he is the only option,” he told journalist Eduardo Feinmann in an interview with Radio Mitre, adding that to continue with the same government would be “condemning [the country] to poverty and permanent institutional destruction.”
“People on the street tell me we have to be humble enough to accept that they have now chosen Javier Milei to guide this path to change. That we have to support this with no strings attached, knowing that we have differences that were mentioned during the campaign, but that the main driver is change,” he said.
Macri’s words come after a war of words erupted within JxC after Bullrich held a press conference to announce she would back Milei in a personal capacity, implying that her stance did not reflect PRO or JxC’s collective positions. Radical Party members Gerardo Morales and Martín Lousteau criticized Bullrich and Macri for making a “unilateral” decision to support the far-right libertarian.
The former president denied accusations that he had forced Patricia Bullrich to support Milei. “She was our presidential candidate; she had the support of the people and won the primaries. To say things like that is to disrespect her when she has shown her leadership,” he said, denying that JxC had split and accusing Morales and Lousteau of being more aligned with Massa than with the opposition coalition.
“They have had secret meetings with Massa all these years. Starting with Morales, they have passed laws [Massa] wanted that were contrary to the majority of Argentines, like tax raises and pensions for people who had not been in the system […] They’ve had dealings with him behind our backs that have not benefited the country,” he said.
Macri saved his harshest criticism for the economy minister himself, saying that “Massa has always lied” to him.
“When he became minister, I asked him publicly to spot the destruction of the country done by [President Alberto] Fernández. And what did he do? He continued digging and deepening the hole we’re in, with more monetary emissions and more inflation,” Macri said.