Faced with a run-off between Unión por la Patria (UxP)’s Sergio Massa and La Libertad Avanza (LLA)’s Javier Milei, different branches of the opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC) have shown their cards over the course of Wednesday.
In a communiqué, one of the coalition’s main parties, the Unión Civica Radical (UCR) said they won’t back either Milei or Massa in the November run-off, since “neither of them can guarantee a future of progress for Argentina.”
“Argentines gave our coalition the role of opposition. And that is what we need to do,” read the communiqué. “It’s incredibly relevant because we have 10 governors, hundreds of mayors, 93 deputies and 24 national senators.”
“Argentines voted and are the sole owners of votes. No leader is. Every one of them will decide their preference in the ballotage.”
In a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, UCR leaders lambasted JxC’s erstwhile presidential candidate Patricia Bullrich for publicly endorsing Milei “in a personal capacity” a few hours earlier.
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“I watched [Bullrich’s] press conference and I was embarrassed for her” said Gerardo Morales governor of Jujuy and head of the UCR. “We won’t participate in a government impregnated by Kirchnerism [but] obviously Milei is worse.
“It’s a leap into the abyss and a path to Argentina’s darkest night.”
Both Morales and UCR Senator Martín Lousteau told press that they had voted for Bullrich but did not feel represented by her decision. Echoing the press release, they also criticized Bullrich and former President Mauricio Macri for making a “unilateral” decision to support the far-right libertarian.
“Bullrich and Macri have decided to abandon Juntos por el Cambio. Because the [coalition’s] parties have been doing the exercise we did today. Coalición Cívica says, neither candidate. UCR says, neither candidate,” said Lousteau. “PRO didn’t even hold a meeting, some people just made a unilateral decision. That’s abandoning JxC, abandoning the mechanism of collective decision-making within a coalition.”
Luis Petri, a politician from the UCR, also publicly endorsed Milei alongside Bullrich but Morales did not clarify if this affected his UCR membership, saying that “they had not analyzed it much.”
Buenos Aires City Mayor Horacio Rodríguez Larreta is set to hold his own press conference on Wednesday evening.
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