December 7, 2013
Scioli leads effort to narrow Massa gap
FpV tries to pull at the heartstrings of voters as governor appeals to undecideds
With less than a week to go before Sunday’s midterm elections, Buenos Aires province Governor Daniel Scioli called on “undecided” and independent voters to cast their ballot for Victory Front (FpV) top candidate Martín Insaurralde “in favour of the province and the country.”
Scioli has taken the lead in pushing for the government’s ticket at a time when the Victory Front is trying to pull at the heartstrings of supporters who may be tempted to vote for another political force on Sunday.
A television ad released Sunday by the presidency remixes one of late former president Néstor Kirchner’s most famous speeches into song, featuring several famous faces. It is a clear effort to recall the glory days of the Kirchnerite movement, and holds special significance considering the midterms are taking place on the anniversary of his sudden death.
With the absence of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, who continues recovering from surgery, it is now up to Scioli to try to shorten the gap with Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa, who beat the Kirchnerite candidate by 5.5 percentage points in the August primaries.
“Insaurralde expresses the responsibility of taking care of the achievements made in the social, economic and productive areas,” said the governor, who criticized “those who want to sow fear and worry” among the population.
Scioli, who ratified his alignment with President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s administration hours before the June 22 deadline to register electoral tickets, said he “believes” in the work “that is being done” by the national government.
“What is most important is that we’ve shown huge progress in the decentralization of resources to benefit municipalities, and that’s why I expect a favourable vote” for the FpV, the provincial leader said.
Scioli’s statements were made during a visit to the Bahía Blanca-Coronel Rosales tax-free zone, located in the southern end of the Buenos Aires province.
They can see clearly now
Hours later, the governor campaigned alongside Insaurralde in the Buenos Aires province district of Tandil, where they visited a sausage factory.
“People have realized now who the FpV candidate is, the one that represents the changes of the last 10 years,” the Lomas de Zamora mayor said.
Insaurralde’s words were a clear reference to what the ruling party has increasingly been blaming for the August defeat, claiming many voters thought Sergio Massa, previously Fernández de Kirchner’s Cabinet chief, with some kind of Kirchnerite alternative — when in fact he is an opposition candidate.
“We’re the only political force that can defend an agenda for the future, which is the present agenda,” Insaurralde insisted.
Second lawmaker candidate in the FpV ticket Juliana Di Tullio and ANSES social security agency head Diego Bossio were also present at the event.
The latest poll by Poliarquía consultancy agency, published on October 19, revealed the Tigre mayor is still leading the race in the province with 41.2 percent of the vote compared to 33.2 percent for Insaurralde.
This means a wider difference from the primaries, but a shorter distance than the one seen in a late September survey by the same pollster.
Stolbizer on ‘improvization’
As the campaign goes to its final stretch before Sunday’s vote, the leading candidate in the Civic and Social Progressive Front (FPCyS) Margarita Stolbizer criticized the FpV’s style of governance yesterday.
“The Kirchnerite era has been marked by improvization,” Stolbizer said.
As the only non-Peronist alternative in the province — along with Workers’ Leftist Front (FIT) candidate Néstor Pitrola — the FPCyS leader called Massa’s Renewal Front and the FpV “different versions of the same party,” and said they should “stop cheating voters.”
“They only care about power. Their only ‘project’ is to perpetuate and enrich themselves,” Stolbizer said, aiming fire at not only at Massa and Insaurralde but also dissident Peronist contender Francisco de Narváez.
Herald with DyN, Telam
Insaurralde against Massa’s drug-related statements
Top Kirchnerite lawmaker candidate in the Buenos Aires province Martín Insaurralde criticized statements by Renewal Front leader Sergio Massa, who said Sunday that if he came upon his son “smoking a joint” he would “beat the shit out him.”
“I’m still astounded by remarks made by a candidate,” Insaurralde wrote last night on his Twitter account. “First of all, I would never hit my son. If he had problems with drugs I would talk to him and stand by him in order to help him overcome the issue,” Insaurralde said.
“On the other hand, it’s sad to hear someone say he would beat the shit out of his son just to garner a few extra votes.”