Leaders from ruling coalition Frente de Todos, including Máximo Kirchner, Sergio Massa, Wado de Pedro, Cecilia Moreau, Mayra Mendoza and Martín Insaurralde, gathered on Tuesday evening at a party meeting in Merlo, in Buenos Aires Province. Representatives from several districts of the province, including Cañuelas, Tigre, Avellaneda, Ezeiza and San Vicente also attended.
The meeting was held between Province leaders in an attempt to launch an electoral front for the upcoming elections and to show unity amid the turmoil, after several days of intense internal quarrels. In a controversy last weekend, several officials from Frente de Todos, including Social Development Minister Victoria Tolosa Paz and Security Minister Aníbal Fernández, criticized Interior Minister Wado de Pedro, a CFK ally, for allegedly ranting against Alberto Fernández in off-the-record statements.
Last night, in the meeting, De Pedro stood at the centre of the summit with some of the party’s most prominent leaders. During dinner, he sat close to Economy Minister Sergio Massa.
The aim of the meeting, according to sources, was not to discuss the upcoming electoral campaign but to show the unity of the party. While opposition coalition, Juntos por el Cambio, is in the middle of a heated internal race to define who will lead the electoral ticket, Frente de Todos members believe it’s a good sign to show order and the building of a broad political consensus.
Máximo Kirchner, Gustavo Menéndez, Sergio Massa and Axel Kicillof addressed guests, highlighting the economic achievements of the past few months, and insisting on the importance of strengthening the coalition for the upcoming elections. The speeches were focused on political analysis and no specific candidacies were discussed, although sources told The Herald that Massa said that being Economy Minister was incompatible with a presidential campaign.
Support for Axel Kicillof was expressed by many attendees, signaling that he is expected to run for re-election in the Province of Buenos Aires, the biggest district in the country and a key political stronghold for peronism. A massive win in the province could help the national candidate gain more votes, something that could affect the potential candidates from Juntos por el Cambio who do not yet have a strong candidate for the province.
Kicillof sat in the middle of a large table, surrounded by the province’s mayors, next to Máximo Kirchner. The meeting complied with one of CFK’s son’s desires, which is to build provincial and national working tables to discuss the party’s steps.
Although the meeting was meant to show unity, Alberto Fernández wasn’t invited.