March 8, 2014
Massa to skip Moyano-Barrionuevo summit
BA Governor Scioli and the leader of the Renewal Front downplay their meeting
Sergio Massa, who defeated the ruling coalition of President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner in October’s midterm vote at the head of the rebel Peronist Renewal Front, yesterday said that he will not attend tomorrow a dissident trade union summit to which he was invited as a presidential candidate for 2015.
“It is not the right time to announce candidacies... 2014 is a year to work, to defend jobs and the purchasing power of the Argentine family,” said Massa, a national deputy for Buenos Aires province.
The summit in Mar del Plata was summoned by Hugo Moyano, a teamster who leads the anti-government faction of the powerful CGT umbrella union, and Luis Barrionuevo, the chieftain of the smaller and also dissident “Blue and White” CGT splinter union.
Moyano and Barrionuevo, who according to polls are not popular with the middle class, had pinned their hopes on the possibility that Massa would attend and were trying to pressure Buenos Aires Governor Daniel Scioli into also attending.
Despite his decision no to attend the summit, Massa said that he shared the agenda of the two unions.
Moyano and Barrionuevo also invited as “presidential candidates,” Scioli — an uneasy ally of Fernández de Kirchner — and Córdoba Peronist Governor José Manuel de la Sota.
SCIOLI, MASSA DOWNPLAY MEETING
Separately, Scioli said that it was only “normal” that he met on Friday night in Mar del Plata with Massa. Massa, for his part, sought to downplay speculation about his “chance” meeting with Scioli, saying that the two meet each other “twenty times a year.”
Scioli wants to run for President in 2015 in an election in which — under the Constitution — Fernández de Kirchner cannot seek a third straight term after she was elected in 2007 and reelected in 2011.
Scioli, asked about a picture together with Massa he agreed to pose for at the request of reporters, said: “This is normal for us.” Massa, for his part, said that it was the first time the two met after the October mid-term vote.
The two were attending the inauguration of a casino run by Barrionuevo’s union.
Massa is widely expected to run for the presidency too. He had served as a Cabinet Chief for Fernández de Kirchner but was fired in 2009 after winning in his Greater Buenos Aires district of Tigre more votes that her in that year’s mid-term election.
Scioli was the leading campaigner for Fernández de Kirchner’s Victory Front in last October’s vote from which Massa emerged as a clear winner.
INSAURRALDE: PRIMARIES TO DECIDE CANDIDACIES
Meanwhile, national deputy Martín Insaurralde (Victory Front-Buenos Aires province), said yesterday that the succession of Fernández de Kirchner will be decided through the PASO open, simultaneous, and mandatory primaries toward the end of the year or next year.
“Candidacies will be decided through votes. There is still a year and a half to go.”
He did not rule out the possibility of running for Buenos Aires governor.
“I am a Peronist from the Buenos Aires province and of course Cristina is my leader. The decision is up to her. I have been always a soldier.”
Insaurralde took distance from Massa, who defeated him in October. However, he did not dismiss the possibility of appearing in public again with Massa, as they did last year.
“I have nothing in common with Massa,” Insaurralde said. However, asked whether he could appear again in a picture with the former Tigre mayor, he replied: “If I come across him, but here (in Pinamar) I doubt it. I have not been invited yet to any place. But I will not go to see him.”
Separately, Radical Chairman Ernesto Sanz, a Senator for Mendoza, said that there is strong resolve among the Social Democrat forces to force a common front for 2015 but this time avoiding the 2011 fiasco of the Civic and Social Front, which fell apart.
Herald staff with DyN, Télam