Córdoba Governor Juan Schiaretti said this afternoon that he would not join forces with opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC).
On Sunday, Buenos Aires City mayor and opposition presidential primary candidate Horacio Rodríguez Larreta published a letter saying that conversations with Schiaretti and other small party leaders were taking place. However, JxC leaders including ex-President Mauricio Macri and Larreta’s rival for the presidential nomination, Patricia Bullrich, both rejected the idea.
“I do not belong to Juntos por el Cambio and nor will I,” Schiaretti said today during a speech at the inauguration of a housing project in the city of Río Cuarto.
In Argentina’s political landscape, Schiaretti is a non-Kirchnerist Peronist: he is a center-right figure who supports the political ideals of Peronism and the human rights agenda, but disagrees with Kirchnerism on issues such as the role of the state and rural policy, favoring a more conciliatory approach on the latter. Macri and Bullrich both voiced the opinion that incorporating him into their coalition would represent too great a compromise on their political ideals.
Since party alliances can differ between local and national levels in Argentina, Schiaretti is also a rival to JxC at provincial level. The prospect of his joining the coalition sparked the ire of Luis Juez, JxC’s candidate for governor in the provincial elections, who yesterday showed up, uninvited, to the meeting of the JxC National Board in order to make his disagreement public.
“Argentina needs a very profound program of change,” said Bullrich in an interview with La Nación + TV channel, opposing the incorporation of Schiaretti. “If we end up being a vague, imprecise thing, where someone comes and defends the trade union laws as they are, or the political model as it is, then what’s the point?”
Earlier today, Macri said that the Cordoban’s inclusion would put JxC “into a crisis”, adding: “We need to commit to a profound and hasty change, and have the courage to see it through. If we don’t do this, there’s no point in returning to power.”