December 5, 2013
CFK allies blast Amado Boudou critics
Some in opposition say vice-president should not lead country, others call for moderation
While Kirchnerism sought to dispel all doubts yesterday about Vice-President Amado Boudou’s credentials as Argentina’s institutional head of state during President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s recovery, opposition leaders fired at his reputation at will.
The message, regardless of the political alignment of the critics, seemed to be loud and clear: Boudou should not be responsible for leading the nation.
“Can we afford to have a vice-president like this one?” wondered Peronist lawmaker and opposition Renewal Front (FR) candidate Felipe Solá on FM Latina radio station in perhaps the harshest criticism of the temporary president.
“We better start rallying with a new motto: ‘A miracle for Boudou’. He is not capable of ruling; just of riding a motorcycle,” he added in a reference to the vice-president. Boudou was photographed riding a motorbike in Brazil before Fernández de Kirchner’s health condition was made public.
In the new political scenario, parties are reviewing their strategies ahead of the midterm elections on October 27. FR leader and Tigre Mayor Sergio Massa even recommended toning down the campaign rhetoric and called for a meeting today with all his candidate to unify their strategy.
Although they share a “pragmatic alliance” in Buenos Aires province, Buenos Aires City Mayor Mauricio Macri questioned Solá’s words about Boudou describing them as “a inappropriate joke for this moment”. And asked for “moderation” in public discourse.
“We have to be institutionally careful because it is not an easy time. Divisions that may aggravate the climate should not prevail. We hope Cristina Fernández de Kirchner gets better as soon as possible,” Macri told state-run news agency Télam.
Solá used his recent comments to settle accounts with old allies. But he wasn’t the only one to express moral reservations about Boudou’s new role.
Buenos Aires City Public Affairs Under Secretary Álvaro González, a member of Macri’s PRO party, used academic talk to discredit Boudou.
González made a difference between “legality” and “morality.” González said that Boudou was legally fit to run the country, but he lacked moral standing due to court probes into alleged corruption.
Although Boudou’s unresolved judicial situation even makes other Kirchnerites feel uncomfortable, Macri is also facing legal problems of his own regarding spying by the metropolitan police.
In fact, he was prosecuted in the illegal wiretapping case that involved other former City officials as part of an illegal surveillance network, as head of the ANSES social security agency Diego Bossio recalled last Monday after Macri’s first criticism toward Boudou.
González deliberately omitted this detail.
“There are public statements that express republican immaturity,” said Lower House head Julián Dominguez while calling on all parties in Argentina “to respect the National Constitution” on the eve of the 30th anniversary of democracy, when elections ended the dark years of dictatorship on October 30, 1983.
He responded not only to yesterday’s accusations toward Boudou from political contendants but also to previous criticsism from Radical Party congressman Ricardo Alfonsín, Macri-aligned lawmaker Federico Pinedo and dissident Peronist former senator Hilda “Chiche” Duhalde.
“There is a Constitution that stipulates the mechanism to ensure the effective exercise of the presidency in case of illness and sets out clearly that, under those circumstances, command will be exercised by the vice-president,” he affirmed.
Is there a hidden agenda behind opposition waves against Boudou? For philosopher Ricardo Forster, who is running on the fourth slot in the Victory Front’s (FpV) congressional ticket, the answer is an emphatic yes.
“There is a very sick part of our society that includes many journalists who have no limits. They wished the worst for President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, even her death.”
He specifically named reporters Jorge Lanata, Nelson Castro and Joaquín Morales Solá among those who “cross the line” and whose “work is influenced by hate and resentment.”
Former physician Castro’s op-eds in his Todo Noticias cable television show became notorious after he publicly revealed former President Néstor Kirchner’s health deteriorated after two surgeries.
Castro recently suggested President Fernández de Kirchner suffers from Hubris syndrome, claiming to be the disease of those who lose touch with reality because they have too much power.
For his part, Lanata has increasingly positioned himself as the model of investigative journalism resistance against what some media denounced as a Kirchnerite lock on transparent reporting.
Of course, not everyone agrees with this view, especially national government aides like Forster.
When asked about Boudou, he lined up behind Kirchnerism’s fortified trenches: “He is absolutely loyal to this project and he will fulfill his obligations with total responsibility and with a 10-year presidential team backing him”.
Herald with DyN, Télam
Navarro acknowledges communication mistakes
Lawmaker Fernando “Chino” Navarro yesterday acknowledged some failures in the official communication of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s medical condition.
“Seeking to protect Fernández de Kirchner, top government officials were deprived of essential information,” Navarro said, thus becoming the first Kirchnerite figurehead to issue a “mea culpa” speech.
Navarro was referring to Vice-President Amado Boudou, who over the weekend told the press that Fernández de Kirchner was resting when, in fact, she had been admitted to the Favaloro Foundation private hospital.
“I hope that in the next weeks we will be able to analyze deeply what has happened and we’ll realize that there will be things to mend — we should have informed the everyone in a better way,” the lawmaker added. “This not only happens in Argentina — and I’m not saying this to justify what has happened,” he added.