Security Minister Patricia Bullrich said in an interview that Argentina’s government is in for a major reshuffle that will see the ranks filled with loyalists and President Javier Milei’s far-right La Libertad Avanza bloc forming a coalition with the right-wing PRO party.
On Friday evening, the Office of the Presidency announced that Mining Secretary Flavia Royón and ANSES social security bureau head Osvaldo Giordano had been asked to resign. Both had previously worked for Peronist governments.
“The economic crisis inherited and the current historic moment require public officials who are committed to the modernization, simplification and de-bureaucratization of the state,” the announcement read.
“Those who assume the responsibility of a public role must understand the harsh reality that Argentines are facing, and defend them from the constant attack of those who mean to maintain their privileges at the cost of the hunger of the people.”
The firings come after a shock decision by Argentine deputies to send Milei’s flagship omnibus bill reform package back to commissions. Half the bill’s articles had already been stripped during the negotiations, and the return to the drawing board has been widely interpreted as the final nail in its coffin.
“What has to dominate is an idea, not political structures,” Bullrich said of the PRO-LLA alliance on Thursday, during an interview with the La Nación+ TV channel. “We are walking together.”
Bullrich said that many officials are still being appointed in the Milei administration. However, she added that she does not want to rush the coalition. “It’s an issue to be discussed,” she explained.
Bullrich is the president of PRO, which stands for Propuesta Republicana (Republican Proposal). She ran against Milei in the 2023 elections, but was knocked out in the first round.
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PRO is one of the main parties that made up the Juntos por el Cambio coalition, together with the UCR and smaller parties such as CC-ARI. It was the ruling coalition during Mauricio Macri’s 2015-2019 presidency and the main opposition during the Alberto Fernández government.
However, the alliance crumbled during last year’s elections amid disagreements about whether to back Milei in the second round, with more centrist factions calling on the population to cast a blank vote.
A coalition between PRO and LLA would formalize and extend the alliance that already exists in practice: all the party’s deputies voted to pass Milei’s omnibus bill reform package in general terms on Friday, although support was patchier on Tuesday.
‘Destroying from within’
It was reported that officials from parties that did not fully back the bill would be dismissed and replaced with members of PRO.
Bullrich said the government would take action against officials who “try to destroy the government from within.” One name she mentioned was Daniel Scioli, who served in numerous Peronist governments and even ran for president in 2015, losing to Macri. He was appointed as Milei’s Tourism Secretary last week.
“I don’t know if he is aligned,” she said.
She added that national officials allied with Córdoba Peronist governor Martín Llaryora, whose party Hacemos por Córdoba did not fully back the bill, must decide which side they’re on. She also singled out Giordano, the ANSES leader, whose wife, deputy Alejandra Torres, voted against some articles of the omnibus bill.
“They cannot belong to the opposition and the ruling party at the same time,” Bullrich said.