December 18, 2014
UNEN-Broad Front: a mix of old, new faces
Hermes Binner (Socialist Party — PS)
The physician and former Santa Fe governor was the runner-up of the 2011 presidential elections, where his Broad Progressive Front (FAP) mustered 16.8 percent of the electorate — some 3.6 million votes. Binner was elected mayor of Rosario in 1995 and re-elected in 1999. He was the first Socialist to ever become a provincial head as head of the Civic and Social Progressive Front (FPCyS). In the last presidential elections he shared the ticket with conservative Senator Norma Morandini. “The PRO has a different view of things — but we respect that position, and we may end up talking during a potential runoff,” Binner told Radio Vorterix yesterday. Binner has traditionally been part of the centre-left stage but has good relations with conservative parties and organizations.
Ricardo Alfonsín (Radical Party — UCR)
Son of former late president Raúl Alfonsín (who ruled the country from 1983 to 1989), Ricardo Alfonsín also ran for president in 2011. He ended up third, with 11.14 percent of votes, with former Central Bank governor Javier González Fraga, a pro-market economist, as his running- mate. Regarding a potential alliance with PRO, Alfonsín said this week that “Macri is not and will not be a part” of the UNEN-Broad Front.
Julio Cobos (Radical Party — UCR)
A former Mendoza governor from the Radical (UCR) party, he shared the winning ticket of the 2007 presidential race with then-senator Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. That same year he was expelled from the UCR for joining the ruling Victory Front (FpV). In 2008, while Congress was voting on a government-sponsored hike of grain duties, he issued the deciding vote against the law, thus becoming a “new hope” for farm-sector leaders and the opposition. As other events unfolded, his role became vague and left the vice-presidency at the end of his term in 2011. Last year, he came out of semi-retirement to obtain a triumphant victory in Mendoza’s PASO primaries.
Ernesto Sanz (Radical Party — UCR)
The first time he appeared among the big names was in 1993, when he was elected provincial senator for Mendoza. In 1999, Sanz became mayor of the province’s city of San Rafael and four years later he was elected senator, a post he holds to this day. In 2011 he lost internal pre-elections against Ricardo Alfonsín (his moto — “my name is Ernesto Sanz and I want to be president” — is well-remembered in the local political world). During that same campaign, he denied accusations of being the “pro-establishment” candidate, as his candidacy had reportedly received support from steelmaker Techint, the country’s largest industrial group.
Fernando “Pino” Solanas (Project South)
A renewed film director with links to left-wing Peronism, Solanas was elected lawmaker in the 1993 legislative elections under the Frente Grande ticket — a group of progressive politicians that would later end up being part of the Alianza front — but left the party a year later. In 2007 he returned to politics and a for president, mustering only 1.58 percent of the vote. Two years later, his Project South party ended up as the second force in the City after collecting over 24 percent of votes. Although he resisted an alliance with Elisa Carrió (“she’s an anti-Peronist,” he said), they both joined forces and performed well in last year’s general elections. In January he was appointed president of the City’s UNEN front.
Elisa Carrió (Civic Coalition)
Born in Chaco, she was first elected lawmaker for UCR, but left the party arguing differences with former president Fernando de la Rúa. During the 2001-02 crisis, Carrió created the Alternative for a Republic of Equals (ARI), which then became the Civic Coalition (CC). She was a presidential candidate in 2003 (when she earned 14 percent of the votes), 2007 (23 percent, second after Cristina Fernández de Kirchner) and 2011, when she received a huge setback after mustering only 1.8 percent of the vote. A central figure in Argentine politics for the last twelve years, she used to be part of the centre-left wing, but now Carrió avoids that ideological space and considers part of “liberal-Christianism” herself and “centrist”.
Margarita Stolbizer (GEN)
A lawyer and politician born in the Greater Buenos Aires area of Morón, she used to identify with centre-left forces inside UCR party. In 2007, she endorsed the candidacy of Elisa Carrió while her former party supported a ticket led by former economy minister Roberto Lavanga. However, years later she also distanced herself from Carrió. This week she said the CC leader “was a difficult figure who permanently endangers political alliances.”
Luis Juez (Civic Front — FAP)
A member of the Peronist Youth (JP) in the eighties, he was first elected on a ticket headed by Córdoba Governor José Manuel de la Sota. Both leaders fell out in 2002, and Juez founded Partido Nuevo (New Party), under which ticket he beat De la Sota’s candidate in the race for Córdoba City’s mayor. For a time he was an out-of-party ally of former late president Néstor Kirchner. He ran for governor in 2007 but after a contentious election he ended up losing to Peronist leader Juan Schiaretti by some 18,000 votes. In 2009 he was elected senator for the Civic Front alliance, which later became part of the Broad Progressive Front (FAP).
Victoria Donda (Libres del Sur — FAP)
Donda was born in Buenos Aires at the ESMA clandestine detention centre, where her mother was taken to give birth during the last military dictatorship. Before knowing her real identity, she became an activist for the centre-left Libres del Sur party. She was elected for Congress in 2007 as a Kirchnerite ally, but soon fell out with the national government for what she called its “double standards” on human rights issues. Last year, she joined pro-market economist Alfonso Prat-Gay on the ticket for the Senate in the PASO primaries.