Government loses power following Senate split

Four Frente de Todos senators left their blocs yesterday to create the new "Unidad Federal" bloc

Four senators announced Wednesday that they would break away from the ruling coalition Frente de Todos and form their own bloc, Unidad Federal (Federal Unity). The split leaves FdT with just 31 senators, two less than the opposition, making it increasingly difficult for them to pass legislation. 

The new bloc released a statement where they said that they hope to be “an alternative” to find agreements “leaving petrified rhetoric and personalism behind”, and highlighted their commitment to represent the Provinces, after criticism against the President for not taking their needs into consideration. 

In fact, the split was announced after the coalition failed to discuss projects in their agenda due to a lack of quorum. 

Senators Guillermo Snopek (Jujuy), María Eugenia Catalfamo (San Luis) separated from the Frente Nacional y Popular (National and Popular Front) led by Senator José Mayans, while Edgardo Kueider (Entre Ríos), and Carlos Mauricio Espínola (Corrientes) left the Unidad Ciudadana (Citizen’s Unity) bloc led by Senator Juliana Di Tullio. They joined Senator Alejandra Vigo, the sole senator of the bloc’s previous iteration. 

Snopek wrote a public letter to Vice President Cristina Kirchner which said that “the government is far away from the people’s needs,” and that he felt removed from the direction that President  Alberto Fernández’s administration has taken. Snopek also addressed some of his criticisms towards Jujuy governor Gerardo Morales, saying that it is “a disappointment” for the government to look away from the human rights violations in the province. 

Despite saying that Unidad Federal will become a “new political space”, members didn’t confirm how they will align in the upcoming elections’ tickets. 

Coalitions in the Senate are alliances composed of blocs. Since four senators have stepped away, Frente de Todos still controls the largest bloc in Congress (the National and Popular Front, which has 19 members), but, after the split, the coalition will have a total of 31 members, two less than Juntos por el Cambio, whose coalition has 33 members. 

In total, 37 votes are needed to obtain quorum. Therefore, the Frente de Todos’ coalition will now be forced to make alliances with other blocs in order to get their laws passed. 

The political move is believed to be backed by Córdoba’s Governor Juan Schiaretti, and Senator Adolfo Rodríguez Saá. It is unclear if their split from kirchnerism is a political move ahead of the elections meant to create their own support network to run for office or the first step towards a new alliance with Juntos por el Cambio. 


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