Jujuy Governor and Unión Cívica Radical (UCR) party leader Gerardo Morales said the party doesn’t have anything to do with former president and PRO leader Mauricio Macri, adding that they won’t answer to anyone after Macri publicly supported far-right candidate Javier Milei (La Libertad Avanza, LLA) in the upcoming November 19 presidential run-off.
UCR and PRO are two of the main parties of opposition coalition Juntos por el Cambio (JxC). The coalition is facing severe in-fighting after Macri and former presidential hopeful Patricia Bullrich (PRO) decided to back Milei ahead of the run-off. UCR decided to take a neutral stance last week, saying they wouldn’t support neither Milei nor Sergio Massa (Unión por la Patria, UxP).
“We don’t answer to anyone anymore. To those who think they own JxC as if it were a company, we say no more,” Morales said Monday during an event to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 1983 election in which UCR member Raúl Alfonsín became the first democratically elected president after seven years of military dictatorship. Alfonsín would take office later that year, on December 10.
Morales said Macri and Bullrich’s decision “is tearing up JxC” and that UCR “doesn’t have anything to do with Macri.” He added that the country is “facing the challenge [of choosing between] two options that will harm Argentina,” referring to both Milei and Massa, who is currently economy minister.
Earlier on Monday, Morales was more emphatic in his opposition to the LLA candidate, saying that “any radical who votes for Milei is betraying Alfonsín’s legacy. “I will do everything in my power so that Milei doesn’t win,” he told radio station La Red. “[Milei] is a risk for democracy.”
UCR member Luis Petri, Bullrich’s running mate, also publicly backed Milei during a press conference last week.
Morales, however, stopped short of backing Massa. “We’ll see how the situation unfolds. I won’t say who I am voting for right now, and my party’s position was very clear.”
“We don’t have anything to do with Kirchnerism, either. The problem is that Milei puts democracy at risk.”
On Sunday night, Macri said Morales and other UCR leaders that have spoken against Milei “are a minority within UCR” and that they are “losers.” During his interview with La Nación+ TV station, Macri added that he doesn’t think that Morales is the right party head because “he doesn’t represent what the UCR feels.”
Massa and the UCR
Massa met with a group of Buenos Aires City UCR members on Monday night, who publicly expressed their support for him ahead of the run-off. The gathering was also a chance to commemorate the 40 years since Alfonsín’s election.
Former UCR senator and theater producer Nito Artaza shared a picture of the dinner he and other party leaders shared with Massa at a local restaurant. “Sergio Massa for president,” Artaza said in his X post. Behind the people shown in the picture, a big sign reads “radicales with Massa.”
— With information from Télam.