Milei postpones May Pact until Ley Bases is approved

The president had initially set May 25 as the deadline to meet with governors to sign an agreement

President Javier Milei said the May Pact will be postponed until his flagship reform bill known as Ley Bases is approved in Congress. 

The May Pact is a political agreement the president intended to sign along with provincial governors and important political figures on a new anniversary of Argentina’s first constitutional government on May 25. A new date is still undecided, although it could be in June or July.  

“There won’t be a May Pact because the Ley Bases will not be approved by [May 25],” Milei said Monday night during an interview with TN news channel.

Milei had announced his intentions of meeting with all governors and several political leaders on May 25 during his opening speech before Congress. The date is a national holiday, as it commemorates Argentina kicking out the Spanish viceroy in the 1810 May Revolution. 

The proposal was first announced as tensions with governors peaked after the national administration cut crucial funds for the provinces, including the share of federal taxes and education funding.

Although aimed at reaching cordiality between the national government and the provinces, the pact would be centered around 10 key principles or conditions governors would have to comply with, including “non-negotiable” efforts towards fiscal balance, reduction of public spending, and reforms in tax, pensions, and labor issues.

Only half of the 23 governors, plus Buenos Aires Mayor Jorge Macri, expressed their will to participate in the pact.

During the interview, Milei said the approval of the Ley Bases, also known as the omnibus bill, was a “determining factor” for the pact to be carried out, as his administration pressured provincial governors to convince lawmakers from their same parties to vote for it. Congress has been focusing almost entirely on the bill since the start of the year, amid intense debates and negotiations.

“There’s not enough time for the bill to be approved now,” Milei said.

The Lower House approved it twice this year — the first time, in February, it was sent back to commissions after ruling coalition La Libertad Avanza failed to gather the necessary support for the individual sections of the bill. It was later approved in full in April after the original text, which was over 600 articles, was cut in half and several of its key points modified or removed. It is currently being discussed in Senate commissions, with no end date in sight.

“We still have another three thousand reforms to make; it’s a matter of time,” Milei said, adding that Interior Minister Guillermo Francos believes the bill has enough support to be approved in the Senate. Francos has been in charge of the negotiations with governors and lawmakers since the bill was first sent back to commissions in January.

Given the reforms he wants to make are long-term, Milei said, signing the pact later on won’t be a major issue. “It could happen on June 20 or July 9,” he added, citing other important national holidays. 

“It’s not a problem for me.”


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