December 7, 2013
Divisions in Elisa Carrió’s front deepen
Judge Servini de Cubría will have to resolve Congressional ticket dispute
The UNEN front continues to put in evidence that, its name notwithstanding, there are deep divisions within the party’s factions as the leaders have failed to settle a new Congressional ticket and are now letting a judge decide it for them.
The Electoral courts called on the front to modify the order of the candidates on its ticket because the one it had first submitted violated the gender quota law.
Far from reaching an agreement with their political partners, more legal filings were taken to the electoral court yesterday after Carla Carrizo, a candidate of the Suma+ faction, had filed a claim the day before. The South Coalition (Coalición Sur) faction, headed by lawmaker and senatorial candidate Fernando “Pino” Solanas and congressional nominee Elisa Carrió, answered that claim with their own legal filing.
Now it’s up to electoral judge María Romilda Servini de Cubria to settle the dispute.
Today is the deadline for posting the official tickets that will compete in the midterm election in October. Consequently, she may force a resolution according to her own judicial opinion or eventually extend the time limit given the circumstances.
According to the South Coalition, the disputed fourth place in the ticket must not be assigned to Carrizo but to a nominee of their own, lawmaker Alcira Argumedo who finished in the fifth place in the questioned ballot.
A source inside Solana’s party explained to the Herald their main argument is that Argumedo obtained more votes than Carrizo and that automatically gives her priority as the second-most voted woman candidate behind Carrió.
Therefore, if number of votes were the criteria to establish placement on tickets, Argumedo surpasses Carrizo and should change places with Suma+ second candidate, economist Adrián Ramos, to fulfill the initial order of the electoral court.
In contrast, Carrizo insists UNEN leaders had previously agreed to assigning slots by a straight-up proportional distribution method known as the D’Hondt Method. And that commitment must be honoured. That means the number four slot is to be occupied by a Suma+ candidate and she is the first woman on that list.
Going at it alone?
Within UNEN, some officials believe Carrizo is following this strategy by herself without the support of either the Radical Party or Lousteau’s consent.
“This is not a Suma+ move but Carrizo’s play to advance to higher positions inside her own faction,” one of Carrió’s allies told the Herald.
The source also pointed out that even Ramos, who is taking up slot number four — the one that must be assigned to a woman candidate according to law — agrees with Coalition South to change places with Argumedo.
It’s a matter of self-interest, too. If Carrizo’s criteria were to prevail, he would end in seventh slot instead of number five, two slots behind Carrizo even though he preceded her in the Suma+ August ticket.
What neither Carrió nor Lousteau’s associates were willing to recognize is how this chasm puts in evidence a galling inability to overcome political differences between the main UNEN associates.
Before August 11 elections, all UNEN front members including South Coalition and Suma+, established that slots in Congressional ticket would be proportionally distributed among those factions that obtain more than 22 percent of votes.
Carrió’s South Coalition received 48.5 percent of the UNEN vote, according to the recount, while Suma+, an alliance between Lousteau and some members of the Radical Party, picked up 35.9 percent.
Therefore, after Carrió and Lousteau heading the national congressional ticket, the third slot belong to a South Coalition nominee, lawmaker Fernando Sánchez, number four went to Ramos for Suma+ and number five to Argumedo on behalf of Carrió’s coalition.
On Monday, judge Servini de Cubría ruled that UNEN original ticket’s distribution did not adjust to the gender quota rule that stipulates that a woman candidate must be positioned “at least” after two male nominees and that candidates of same gender must not occupy more than two consecutive slots.