Economy Minister Sergio Massa declined to comment on the possibility of being a presidential candidate in this year’s elections, and spoke against the idea of holding primaries in the Frente de Todos ruling coalition.
“Exposing in primary elections whether the government has differences or not seems to me like a very serious mistake,” the minister said during the annual summit of the United States Chamber of Commerce in Argentina (Amcham Argentina). “It generates uncertainty for the people.”
Massa insisted that the government has “the obligation to provide certainty” to citizens. “Part of providing certainty is not exposing its internal debates to society, we have to fight behind closed doors,” he said.
Massa’s statements go against President Alberto Fernandez’s comments yesterday that “If there is no candidate that synthesizes everything, let the most voted candidate emerge in primary elections.”
Other members of the Frente de Todos coalition, like Interior Minister Eduardo “Wado” de Pedro and social leader Juan Grabois, have also spoken in favor of holding primaries.
When asked about the possibility of running for the top office, the Economy Minister refused to comment, but said that he would not participate in primary elections if they are held. In that case, he said, he would watch the process “from the sidelines.”
During his conversation with the President of the Amcham, Facundo Gómez Minujín, Massa also spoke about the economy’s challenges. He mentioned “lowering inflation,” “the problem with income,” and “giving stability”.
Massa said that the “last welding” on the Néstor Kirchner gas pipeline will be done on Friday. He said it will be a “historical fact” because of its significance “in terms of energy import savings”.
Massa also referred to Argentina’s program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF.)
In March 2022, Argentina signed an agreement renegotiating the US$ 44 billion debt former President Mauricio Macri acquired in 2018. The deal includes an economic program with certain targets that Argentina must comply with to receive disbursements or payments every three months, which are used to pay for the previous debt with the IMF.
“The drought changes the program,” he said. This year, a drought of historic severity devastated the harvests of key crops such as soybeans and corn, slashing the country’s inflow of dollars and complicating its attempts to accumulate international reserves.
“We are already discussing objectives and goals; everything is on the table in the discussion with the Fund,” Massa said when he was asked about the possibility of the lender bringing forward the transfer of disbursements scheduled for this year.