December 7, 2013
Campaign for City Legislature launches today
CFK will accompany FpV candidate Taiana to an impoverished neighbourhood
Campaigning to secure one of the 30 Buenos Aires City Legislature seats up for grabs during the October midterm elections will begin in earnest today, with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner accompanying Victory Front (FpV) ticket head Jorge Taiana to a rally in Villa 21-24 in the Southern neighbourhood of Barracas.
Along with Culture Secretary Jorge Coscia, the president will inaugurate a cultural centre in the impovrished neighbourhood during her first day back to work following the G20 summit in Russia.
Taiana, Fernández de Kirchner’s former foreign minister, resigned in 2010, citing “differences and a lack of support” for his policies, but relations between both of them appear to have been patched up.
Two Kirchnerite lists
More than twenty fronts and parties registered their candidates at the electoral court before the deadline at midnight on Saturday.
One of the surprises on the main Kirchnerite ballot, which was officially submitted on Saturday, was the placement of current City lawmaker María José Lubertino in the 15th slot.
The eccentric figurehead, known for her intense Twitter appeareances and her bill to accept pets in public transport, was relegated in the FpV ticket in favour of Taiana and María Rosa Muiños, who currently works in the Buenos Aires Ombudsman.
BA City New Encounter party chairman José Campagnoli, taxi drivers’ union leader (and current lawmaker) Claudio Palmeyro and Lorena Pokoik, a local Peronist activist, will also be leading the Kirchnerite ballot.
But another local front will be backing the Cristina Fernández de Kirchner national administration. Labelled Popular Alternative, it will be led by the brother of murdered Workers Party (PO) activist Mariano Ferreyra, Pablo Ferreyra, which will seek to aid Kirchnerism in its bid to increase its participation in the capital’s government from its current eight seats.
Ángela Lerena, who works as a journalist for the Fútbol Para Todos soccer programme on Channel 7, the public television channel, is running in the ninth slot for Alternativa Popular.
Bullrich ally running for PRO
Mauricio Macri’s PRO, the dominant party with 26 of the Legislature’s total 60 seats, will be led by 43-year old Fundación Pensar academic director Iván Petrella.
Juan Pablo Arenaza, a current city lawmaker who responds to Unión por Todos leader Patricia Bullrich, will be second, followed by Carmen Polledo, a former NGO leader who heads the chamber’s Social Integration Promotion Policies Comittee and has been reportedly touted by Macri to head the PRO caucus as of December.
Alejandro García — an ally of PRO senatorial candidate Gabriela Michetti — will also hope to be re-elected on the ticket’s fourth slot, while Agustín Forchieri will represent the other senatorial candidate, Diego Santilli, in fifth place.
Roberto Quatromanno (linked to City legislature head Cristián Ritondo), Karina Spalla (the partner of City Economy Minister Néstor Grindetti) and Helio Rebot (head of the Buenos Aires City Legislature Constitutional Affairs Committee) will also seek to renew their seats.
Meanwhile, lawmakers Lidia Saya, Oscar Zago and Fernando de Andreis will be leaving the Legislature as they have already served two terms and cannot be reelected, while Carmen Polledo, Bruno Screnci Silva and Marta Varela were left out of the list.
between Nosiglia, Oliveto
The UNEN front, triumphant in the PASO primaries for Congress, is headed by Gustavo Vera, who also leads the La Alameda foundation. The organization works against human trafficking, slave and child labour, prostitution and drug-trafficking.
Current Civic Coalition (CC) Senator María Eugenia Estenssoro will be competing for a big demotion — from national senator to local legislator. For his part, regional Socialist Party vice-president and lawyer Hernán Arce is third on the list.
Fourth place was assigned to Juan Nosiglia, the leader of the Radical (UCR) youth and son of former Interior minister Enrique “Coti” Nosiglia, who served under the Raúl Alfonsín national administration, while lawyer Paula Oliveto is fifth on the list.
Senate candidate Fernando “Pino” Solanas’ Project South, which is currently the third force with six candidates, only got the seventh slot with long-time figurehead Javier Gentilini.
Many options on the left
The Workers’ Leftist Front (FIT), which includes the Workers’ Party, is headed by Marcelo Ramal, a professor at the University of Buenos Aires who already headed the front’s list in 2011, when the force failed to obtain a seat in the City legislature — and previously ran for mayor in 2007. Patricio del Corro, the leader of the Socialist Workers’ Party (PTS) Youth, is second, while Socialist Left (IS) activist Laura Marrone is third.
The Democratic Left (Izquierda Democrática) will be led by former city lawmaker Rafael Gentili, followed by 13 Ranchos organization head and Socialist Party member Juan Rodil. Media expert Martín Becerra is eleventh on the list.
Camino Popular, led by economist Claudio Lozano and young figurehead Itaí Hagman at the national level, counts with current city lawmakers Fabio Basteiro and Jorge Selser in first and second place, respectively. Carla Rodríguez, a member of the CTA umbrella union’s national board, is the force’s third candidate.
Juan Carlos Blumberg heads the Es Posible Federal ticket sponsored by the Compromiso Federal party led by Peronist figurehead Alberto Rodríguez Saá. Blumberg erupted briefly onto the political scene in 2004 with an emphasis on “zero tolerance” policies following the kidnapping and murder of his son.
“People asked me to return. I want to be a lawmaker because I have many ideas to improve security and I want the chamber to stop voting laws that go against democracy,” Blumberg said.