December 9, 2013
‘Máximo has always been a wise adviser’
The Herald interviews Victory Front (FpV) Lower House candidate Diana Conti
In an interview with the Herald at her office earlier this week, lawmaker and congressional candidate on the Victory Front (FpV) ticket, Diana Conti, was confident about holding on to her seat in
Lower House of Congress. She highlighted the “advisory role” that Máximo Kirchner holds in his mother’s administration, dismissed the idea that Kirchnerism was reaching the end of its cycle and assured that the leader of Renewal Front (FR) Sergio Massa does not say what he really thinks.
Do you think the Victory Front (FpV) will improve its performance this Sunday compared to the primaries?
Yes, we will. We’ve been working to display the qualities of our candidates. We’ve also explained how we are going to continue with our projects and initiatives after the elections. We made clear our will to consolidate what we have done and we think society knows that we are going to face the challenges that remain. We are heading toward an even more inclusive Argentina where everybody can enjoy a better quality of life and reach development expectations. That is Kirchnerism.
What can you tell us about the president’s health?
She is making a good recovery. What I can assure you is that the day that she is allowed to come back to work, it will be because she is absolutely recovered and feeling well.
Many have criticized the government for not providing the public enough information about the president’s health. What is your position on this?
That was nonsense. Cristina felt ill and went to a hospital like any other person. She had nothing to say. As soon as she knew her diagnosis, her communications team told the public. Causing unecessary panic would not have helped anyone.
Can Argentina be governed by the Victory Front without Cristina?
Absolutely. In fact she is calm now precisely because the government is still operating. We work as a team.
The figure of Máximo Kirchner has reappeared at centre stage over the last few weeks. What is his role inside the Government?
He always had the same role. Máximo has always been a wise and sensible adviser and his opinions were always heard. But now he is supporting his mother and therefore is part of Cristina’s most intimate circle. In addition to giving his wise advice on politics, he has also taken on the role of supporting his mother.
Several opposition leaders are pushing the idea that the “end of the road” for Kirchnerism is approaching. What are your thoughts about this?
I disagree. Kirchnerism evolved and has grown diametrally from the beginning. This enormous force includes an entire society that overwhelmingly calls for continuity. We are not talking about a cycle. We are talking about a relevant political force with the capacity to change the life of an entire population. So it is far from over.
Would you like Daniel Scioli to be the Victory Front’s candidate for president in 2015?
It’s too soon to tell. Our president has not yet said what she thinks about this and we have to respect that. In any case, two years is a long time in Argentine politics. I’ll answer this question in two years.
You have said you wanted ‘Cristina forever’ and threw your support behind the idea of amending the Constitution to allow her to run for a third term. Do you still feel the same way?
Amending the Constitution isn’t part of anybody’s agenda. It would have been nice, but that discussion is over—at least for now.
Do you think that recent events, including the train crash in Once and the video that showed City FpV candidate Juan Cabandié at a traffic stop, could negatively impact Kirchnerism at the polls?
Citizens are mature enough to understand that when a political force is in power it takes care of everything. And with that comes tragedies and disgraceful situations.
Regarding what happened to Juan Cabandié, it is a very minor issue. I watched the entire video and it was pretty clear to me that it was a political operation with the intention of damaging his image. Nobody likes to be stopped in the street.
In an interview with Jorge Rial that aired two weeks ago, the president talked of Mauricio Macri‘s alleged intellectual honesty but did not say a word about other members of the opposition. Does she see Macri as her main rival?
She didn’t send a message—she was specifically asked about him. And it was during that time that Macri had said the president spoke to him by phone. Cristina was frank—she recognized Mauricio’s intellectual honesty, even if she disagrees with his ideas. What I can assure you is that she did implicitly recognize there are some who are dishonest.
Do you think Sergio Massa falls in the category of honest politicians?
No, he is one of those politicians who doesn’t say what he thinks.