Anti-Kirchnerist Peronism promotes a new political space for the presidential candidacy

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The dissident Peronists Juan Schiaretti and Juan Manuel Urtubey.RR SS

The alternative spaces to the two great political coalitions in Argentina —the ruling Frente de Todos and the opposition Juntos por el Cambio— seek to obtain revenue from citizen discontent both with the management of Alberto Fernández and that of his predecessor, Mauricio Macri. Less than six months before the elections, the ultra-liberal economist Javier Milei is the one who has the greatest intention to vote outside of the two big ones. At the other end of the political arc, the left retains minority support, but other names are beginning to emerge. From the anti-Kirchnerist Peronism, also known as federal because of its important roots in the provincial interior, two referents have announced this week that they will compete for the presidential candidacy. The former governor of the province of Salta (northwestern Argentina) Juan Manuel Urtubey and the current governor of Córdoba (center) Juan Schiaretti will face each other in the August primaries in a space that still has no name but is presented as contrary to "the political crack” between Peronists and anti-Peronists.

Although the nucleus of the formation is dissident Peronism, it also brings together some representatives of socialism. It remains to be seen if once the Frente de Todos defines its presidential candidacy or candidacies - it has time until the end of June - there is any desertion among its ranks that swells the new political space or if unity is maintained for a matter of survival.

“I am going to be a candidate for president in the next STEP [primarias abiertas simultáneas y obligatorias] and I will do it for a coalition that represents the one who works, the productive interior and that expresses the overcoming of this damn crack that is doing so much damage to us Argentines”, Schiaretti said on Tuesday when announcing his candidacy.

This Wednesday, Urtubey followed in the footsteps of the Cordovan governor and confirmed his candidacy in a space "that generates a different option from the current and previous governments." In statements to local media, Urtubey criticized the economic policies of the last governments and has stressed the need to promote a model of productive development that generates jobs and growth. "We have to target the real economy and not the monetary one, linked to the financial bubble as has been the case for several decades," he said.

The economy will be the great protagonist of the electoral campaign of this 2023 given the complex situation that the country is going through, with inflation of 104.3% year-on-year that devours wages and almost four out of every ten inhabitants mired in poverty.

In the 2019 elections, Urtubey already competed as second in the Federal Consensus presidential formula, led by former Economy Minister Roberto Lavagna. They came third, but at an enormous distance from the two candidates who polarized the election. 6.4% of the votes went to Lavagna compared to 40.3% for Macri and 48.2% for Fernández.

Unlike four years ago, the polls now show a greater dispersion of the vote and suggest that a second round will be necessary. The election of deputies and senators is decided, however, in the first round and the legislators of these small political forces may be key to governance as of December 10, when the new president of Argentina will take office.

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